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Volume 2 


Fall 1981 



A magazine encompassing: architecture, landscape 
architecture, urban design and planning, interior 
design, industrial design, graphic design, 
fashion design. 

In this issue: critical commentary on financing 
arts facilities, housing artists and the arts, 
cultural district planning, and fifty exceptional 
Arts Endowment grants. 


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I Cover: 

I The facade of Kansas City's Folly Theater 

under restoration displays the colors and 

patina of a Pompeian fresco. 

Photograph by Patty Berkebile Nelson 


(Right) Detail of West Wing, Boston 
^Museum of Fine Arts. Photo by 
[Michael Liilsch. 


P L A C 





Editor's Acknowledgment 

Design Arts is most grateful to Michael 
John Pittas, the director of the Design Arts 
Program of the National Endowment for 
the Arts, who inspired this issue: Places and 
Spaces for the Arts. The editorial staff 
wishes to thank, as well, Gcraldine Rachman 
for her coordination of the 1981 Grant 
Recognition Program component of this 
issue, and our guest publisher. The Munic- 
ipal Art Sof ietv of New ^'ork. 

Copyright © 1981 h\ The Municipal Art Society 
of New York. All rights reserved. 
Printed in the L'nited States of America. 
Published bv The Municipal .Art Society of 
New York, with the generous support of 
the National Endowment for the .\rts. 
Library of Congress Number: 81-643399 

ISBN No. 0-9606892-1-4 

Managing Editor: Carol Uhl-Nordlinger 
Designer: Richard Saul Wurman 
Considting Editor 

for this issue: Lance Jay Brown 

.Assistant Editor: Marv Beth Zickefoose 
Assistant Designer: Michael Everitt 
Production .Assistant: Patricia Moritz 
Contributing Writers: Mary Bruton 
Juliet McGhie 
Nancy Raine 
Mila Tewell 
Copy Editor: Barbara Flanagan 

This publication was set in Basker\ille, by 
Central Typesetting, Los .Angeles, California, 
and printed on 10 pt. Chromolux cover and 
80 lb. Cameo Dull Book by AVelsh Graphics, 
Pasadena, California. 


Architecture has been called 
the "Mother of the Arts." 
For the past century, ho^vever. 
• Mother architecture has 
manifested her nurturins^ 
role primarily by providing 
shelter to merchant princes 
and erecting splendid cathe- 
drals in praise of corporate 
gods, all the ^\-hile woefully 
neglecting her offspring: 
dance, drama, painting, sculp- 
ture, music, and crafts. 

Through the support provided by the pri- 
vate and public sectors in this countn^ 
over the last decade and a half, enormous 
growth has occurred in all the arts. Today 
there are three times as many opera com- 
panies and symphony orchestras as there 
were in 1965, almost twenty times as many 
small professional theater groups, and 
more than one hundred new museums. This 
"arts boom" has been accommodated, 
largely and grudgingly, by the church base- 
ment, the high school auditorium and the 
local hockey rink. 

All past civilizations have been known 
and judged by their artifacts, especially 
architecture, the most enduring art. The 
wonder of the great libraries and amphithe- 
aters of the past is that they forge the cul- 

tural link to present civilization. Think of 
the plays of Aeschylus still being performed 
where they were created. If today our 
civilization were to disappear, what would 
our successors thinks :djout the artifacts 
we leave behind? Long after our writing, 
paintings, and films have disintegrated, 
uhat message would our architecture convey? 
Not the respect, even veneration, we 
actually have for the arts; future civilizations 
would observe that dollars were enshrined 
in gleaming palaces, and that dancers 
had no homes. 

To be sure, arts facilities have begun to 
spring up everywhere; more than eight 
hundred opened in the decade between 1965 
and 197,"). However, new or improved fa- 
cilities remain the number one need in 
states as far flung as .\laska and Idaho. The 
arts want out of the gymnasium and 
church basement. .\nd now, ironically, when 
Mother architecture has begun to turn 
her attention to the creation of permanent 
homes for the arts, she has found the cup- 
board bare: the budget cutters are stripping 
the public coffers and the merchant princes 
are turning deaf ears. 

In my travels around the country, I 
have seen two recurrent problems inhibiting 
the development of notable architecture 
for the arts. The first is a dearth in the arts 
community of the political and economic 
expertise needed to bring to fruition a mu- 
seum, performing arts center, or exhibition 
space. The second is the lack of know- 
ledge by architects and arts administrators 
about how to design a facility that works 
for both performers and audience. 

In these days of double-digit inflation, 
butter swapped for guns, and heated com- 
petition for corporate contributions, 
advocates for better facilities for the arts 
must learn to develop business acumen 
if they are to complete successfully for finite 
funds. .All of us need to understand — and 
combat — the common misconception 
that arts facilities are an extravagance to 
establish and maintain, and thus a financial 

AVith support from the Design .Arts Pro- 
gram of the National Endowment for 
the Arts, a number of cities and towns have 
begun to dispel that misconception by de- 
veloping arts facilities, even arts districts, to 
serve as catalysts for economic development. 
San Antonio, Texas, where the estab- 
lishment of a performing arts district has 
sparked private investment to revitalize 
the downtown, and Montclair, New Jersey, 
whose central business district has blossomed 
as a result of a theater company's presence, 
are two of the more striking examples. 
Furthermore, unlike past attempts at urban 
renewal, such as convention centers or 
pedestrian malls, arts facilities encourage 
meaningful local participation. Those com- 
munities that recognize the contributions 
arts facilities can make will be the most 
productive and livable in the future. 

While our citizens need to be educated 
to the economic and cultural benefits of 
creating places for the arts, our architects, 
designers, and administrators need to gain 
an understanding about what constitutes 
acceptable, even (dare one hope) inspiring, 
architecture for the arts. With the pro- 
liferation of the arts has come the prolifera- 
tion of the multicultural center, too often 
the jack-of-all-trades in the arts. Early 
this year the New York City Ballet refused 
an engagement at the Kennedy Center 
because the stage floors were too hard for 
dance and the risk of injury too great. 

In one interview and study after another 
the comments of performers and users of 
newly designed facilities are depressingly 
similar. The Massachusetts Council on 
the Arts, for example, notes that 

it often appears as if the architect had 
designed the facility from front row 
center, lavishing attention on the lobby 
and facade, with little thought given 
to the key areas where performers, tech- 
nicians, and support staff work. 
Inadequate box offices, inconvenient 
and depressing dressing rooms, concrete 
stage floors with ill-proportioned wing 
and fly space . . . 

"It's a beautiful hall, grand stage, wonder- 
ful equipment . . . but not a single dressing 
room," commented Phyllis Curtin, the 
former opera singer who heads the 
Yale School of Voice and Opera, about St. 
Catherine's Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Richard Maltby, the songwriter and 
director whose Broadway success Ain't 
Misbehavin' has four companies touring in 
North .America and who is not unsympa- 
thetic to the problems architects confront in 
designing theaters, adds this keen observa- 
tion about the profession: 

W'e've just ,gone through a period where, 
for some reason, we're supposed to keep 
drama out of architecture, where things 
arc supposed to be cool and classical, 
not melodramatic in a vulgar wav. W^ell, 
vulgar is what the theater is: a lot of 
people are supposed to ,get thrilled in 
a visceral and vulgar fashion, and 
architects don't understand that. 



Ihe desis^n of a liouse for 

ihe arts is as important as the €|^ 

art it houses. ^ y 

For all these reasons, resident arts groups 
have learned to "make do" with whatever 
facility is found for or offered them. The 
castoffs have resulted in some remarkably 
successful adaptations of movie theaters, 
public bathhouses, schools, firehouses, bowl- 
ing alleys, abandoned industrial buildings, 
and. in one midwestern town, a swimming 
pool. Just as frequently, however, these 
accidental homes hurt both the arts group 
and the community it serves. .Although well 
intended, too often they are poorly located 
and designed, and don't function well. 

Design is a conscious effort to impart 
order, beauty, and meaning to the physical 
world. Design excellence is determined by 
how well an object meets the goals of 
order, beautv, and meaning. The design of 
a house for the arts is as important as the art 
it houses. .And more. Evidence of arts 
facilities and the activities they accommo- 
date is an important indicator of a nation's 
vitality. .V nation that cannot celebrate its 
cultural life is not complete. 

Michael John Pittas 
Director, Design .Arts Program 
National Endowment for the Arts 


e e 

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(*V« lua ►w'R'^'t"*,' 


Ceoss ■ Section 

Section detail of the Syracuse Theatre stage 
from the original draiuings by architect 
Thomas Lamb. 
Draioing courtesy of Jamie Williams. 


I N ■ 



I S • 




U E 

Volume 2 

Fall 1981 




Sheltering the Arts, 

or the Rise of the Culturebox 

Robert Campbell 

Page 8 

Museums Without 

Walls, Capital, Column 

or Ornament 
Jane Holtz Kay 

Page 14 

II % m\ 

Ik. Jj 

Rebuttal — 

The Abandoned Gold Mine 

for the Arts: 

Can We Afford Not to 

Reopen It? 

Congressman Fred Richmond 

Coins and Culture: 
Pulling Private Pursestrings 

Jane Holtz Ka\ 

Page 32 

Page 34 

View — 

The Abandoned Gold Mine 

for the Arts: 

Can We Afford Not to 

Reopen It? 

Michael O'Hare 

Page 26 


Helping the Artist to Live 
and Work in the City: the 
Evolution of a New Strategy 
Jane Robbins 

Page 40 

National Endowment for the Arts Grant Recognition Program, 1981 

Lance J . Brown 

Page 52 

Risk Taking to Profit Making 
the Impact of Small Grants. 

('•eraldine Bacliman 

Page 54 

Endowment Grants Recognized 1981 

Facilitating the Arts Page 59 

Arts Centers and District Planning Page 86 

Cultural Heritage Page 95 

Artist Housing Page 101 

Reference: Listing of Grantees, 
1981 Grant Recognition Program Page 110 


New things don't always have names. 
Among those that don't are the cultural 
complex or arts complex or multicultural 
arts center or art park or community arts 
center. The managing editor of Design 
Arts speaks of "the encapsulation of culture 
in these boxes in the landscape." I like this 
phrase so much that I propose to refer to 
this new phenomenon in American life 
as the Culturebox. 

The culturebox in its typical form is an 
old building, big or small, urban or rural, 
that has been recycled and stuffed with more 
than one and sometimes a dozen cultural 
uses. In the past fifteen years, something in 
the air of an incredible number of American 
communities has precipitated one or more 

It's a new phenomenon. Nothing quite 
like the culturebox really existed in the 
United States until recent years. There was 
art, there was culture, but that special mix 
of highbrow and lowbrow, of old and new, 
of ethnic and mainstream that characterizes 
the cultureboxes of today was absent. 

In the past art and culture were sorted 
into categories that had a lot to do with 
geography and more to do with social class. 
For the commons there was Barnum, 
Harrigan and Hart, nickelodeons and 
vaudeville, and later movies before movies 
came to be thought of as The Cinema. 
For the Junior League set there were the 
Symphony and the Art Museum and The 

Many forces joined to demolish these neat 
categories, preparing the way for the 
more inclusive culturebox. One such force 


was the rise of cultural antliropology and 
the celebrity of people like Margaret Mead. 
Mead wrote about wildly diverse cultures 
on the unsettling assumption that all 
cultures were equal, iiu hiding hcadhunters. 
Mead made it harder to maintain the view 
that the symphony was art, but the New- 
Orleans funeral band was Lowlife. In the 
Jazz Age, the Junior Leaguers flocked like 

The culturebox in its typical 
form is an old building, big or 

small, urban or rural, that 

has been recycled and stuffed 

with more than one and 

sometimes a dozen 

cultural uses. 

mini-Meads to Harlem nightclubs. Three 
decades later, by the time of the socially 
unruly Sixties, just about everyone had 
become acquainted with the notions that 
different "cultures" and "lifestyles" (new 
coinages, both) could coexist on equal terms 
and that life might be richer for the 
resulting diversity. Jane Jacobs proposed 
that cities, especially, are the vital product 
of just such diversity. 

This notion of diversity or cultural 
pluralism is one foundation of the culture- 
boxes that today spring up like flowers 
after the rain all over America. "There will 
be country and western entertainment, 
ballets, musicals, stage plays, symphonies, 
everything to please area residents," 
announces the coordinator of the Perot 

Theater in Texarkana. The Perot didn't 
start out so plural. It was built as the 
Saenger in 1924 when life w'as still sorted out, 
and it presented vaudeville. 

Or take the Appalshop, located in 
"downtown Whitesburg, Kentucky (popula- 
tion 1,800)," as its chairperson engagingly 
puts it. Pluralism underlies the confidence 
that created this cultural mixing-box 
of filmmaking, recording, photography, 
theater, and a magazine in this remote 

Other things besides anthropology were 
fermenting in the early decades of the 
century. Some also shaped the culturebox 
phenomenon. Hugh Kenner, in his study 
of the art and literature of the period, 
The Pound Era, suggests that the central 
task of art in that time was the recapturing 
of the past. The need was to make the 
past something different from "history." 
History as seen by the Victorians was a kind 
of distant pageantry and grandeur. Modern 
artists like Pound or Picasso wanted a past 
that would be more immediate, more vivid, 
more accessible — in short, more present. 
These artists broke history into isolated 
fragments and then juxtaposed the fragments, 
as in Eliot's ]Vasteland, making all periods of 
the past equal and present, letting all times 
and voices comment on one another at once, 
showing history not as narrative but as 
mosaic. It was another kind of jjluralism. 
Now not only were contemporary cultures 
equal, as in Mead, but all past epochs were 
also equal and were, somehow, present. 



the Arts, 
or the 
of the 


This pluralism of history, this view ot 
the past as a temporal collage (in Kevin 
Lynch's term) made its way into the culture- 
box through the medium of architecture. 
Architecture is always the last of the arts to 
latch onto a new trend, but it caught the 
trend to the present past just in time for the 
cultureboxes. The Preservation movement 
revived respect for the past and Post- 
Modernism followed with its delight in the 
clash of different styles and periods in 
one building. The result is that nearly all the 
cultureboxes derive a lot of their character 
from the fact that they are housed in 
containers originally meant for some entirely 
different purpose in another time. Present 
use and visible past jostle and, by contrast, 
vivify each other. Often a "high art" like 
theater or symphony occupies a container 
first planned for "low art." Thus in Boston, 
the old Music Hall, the city's greatest 
vaudeville-cum-movie palace, is now home 
to ballet and the Metropolitan Opera — 
but also, pluralistically, to Frank Sinatra 
and Lily Tomlin. Even when the culturebox 
is actually new, as is the design for the 
Provincetown Playhouse, it is often a delib- 
erate collage of past motifs. The new 
Playhouse is in appearance a warehouse 
pier with a fishing shack at one end, but 
it will be used from the start as a theater. 

All these pluralisms, all these ironies 
and juxtapositions, make the culturebox. 
And all have one feature in common. 
They are all ways of saying we don't want to 
lose something, don't want to let some- 
thing go. We don't want to tear down the 

movie palace even though it can't make 
money showing movies anymore. Nor do we 
want to lose, say, the art of Haitian dancing, 
even though Haitian-American kids may 
want to disco. The culturebox typically tries 
to save everything: to preserve an old build- 
ing while making it new (or build a new 
one while making it old), and at the same 
time to preserve traditional mainstream 
arts while adding minor and minority ones. 
The culturebox is a holding action. We're 
saying, through it, that we can't afford to 
lose difference. We can't homogenize either 
the cultural world or the built one. 

This wish to preserve, to somehow fix 
forever a culture that is endangered, is often 
the motive behind great architecture. Oleg 

The less central, more plural American culture 
of recent years is well represented by the 
Appalshop. This compact cultural CARE pack- 
age in tiny Whitesburg, Kentucky, includes 
film and recording studios, a photography 
workshop, magazine offices, a theater, and an 
art gallery. The improbable exterior of 
random patches of diagonal siding over an 
old brick warehouse is meant to recall local 
coal mineheads. Photograph courtesy of 
Appalshof), Inc. 


Grabar makes this case nun ingly in his book 
about the Alhambra. Some such motive 
is present in the culturebox phenomenon 
and in the wliole historic preservation 
movement as well: a wish to preserve a 
public, social culture at a time wiien a 
private, media culture is in the ascendant. 
More of that later. But the culturebox is 
not an Alhambra, attempting hopelessly to 
freeze forever a doomed way of life. The 
culturebox, thanks to its very pluralism, tries 
to yoke together permanence and change 
and extract the best from each. 

This wish to preserve, to 

somehow fix forever a culture 

that is endangered, is often 

the motive behind great 


I recently had the experience of partici- 
pating in a review panel assembled by the 
National Endowment for the Arts to 
consider a number of cultureboxes for 
inclusion in this issue of Design Arts. It was 
astonishing to see how many examples of 
this phenomenon there were, from every- 
where in the United States. .\nd of course 
these were only a selection from a selection: 
a sampling of projects that had happened 
to receive NE.\ funding at some point. Even 
so, the variations seemed endless. A con- 
ference center and other uses in an historic 
H. H. Richardson house. (Which came 
first, one wonders, the need to save the house 
or the need to house the uses?) .\n art 
museum in an .Akron post office. Comnuinitv 
art centers in storefronts. Hispanic ballet 
in old WASP carriage houses. A new chil- 
dren's museum made old by being designed 
to recall an African village. Five civic 
arts groups in a posh Manhattan townhouse 
cluster. .An entire New jersey town trans- 
formed into an arts park. .\ museum of 
building arts in a former Washington 
Inireaucracy hive. Crafts centers in old mills. 

And above all, theaters. Ours is a self- 
conscious age in which every activity verges 
on theater. Maybe that explains why there 
are so many real theaters among the culture- 
boxes (most of them, characteristically, 
are not just theaters but theaters-plus: plus 
crafts, plus a museum, plus ethnic arts, or 
whatever). There are theaters made from 
movie and vaudeville palaces, including 
quite spectacular ones like the Indiana 
Repertory or the Syracuse .Area Landmark 
Theater. There are theaters in banks, 
churches, firehouses, and courthouses. 

Looking through this array of cultural 
resources I kept trying to figure out what 
could possibly have caused, in the 1960s 
and 1970s, this explosion of the culturebox 
phenomenon. I could identify at least six 
separate causal situations: 

First. .An old building exists, it is in 
danger, and someone wants to save it but 
needs a use. 

Second. .An art group, performing group, 
or ethnic-identity group comes together, 
grows in success and self-awareness, and 
needs a place to display and nurture itself. 

Third. A funder — public or private — 
exists and is looking for a fiuidee. The 
funding may be for historic preservation or 
for support of the arts. The proliferation 
of such funders, especially federal, in the 
1960s was a great force behind cultureboxes. 

Fourth. Someone has leisure time and 
spare income and wants to use them to 
pursue an interest acquired during his or her 
college education — leisure, income, and 
college all having been growth stocks in 
recent years. The lawyer who studied dance 
at Vassar needs a way to maintain this 
interest. She becomes a producer or con- 
sumer of the culturebox. 

Fifth. Someone wants to stimulate a 
deteriorating downtown or other area. "In 
1972, the Committee for the Rcvitalization 
of Downtown Montclair approached the 
New Jersey Theater Foundation in search of 
a development project tiiat would help 
reverse the deterioration of the city's central 
business district. The committee believed 
that a cultural facility could serve as a cata- 
lyst for commercial development." Result: 
tlie Whole Theatre. 

Nearly every American town in the 1920s erected 
an entertainment palladium for vaudeville 
and movies. The designer of Loew's State in 
Syracuse, like many others, selected Mahara- 
jahn as the afjpropriate style, producing a blaze 
of details much like those yon might see on 
the hou'dah atop a circus elephant. It was the 
desire to save the building that led to the 
creation of the Syracuse Area Landmark 
Theatre, which is restoring the old palace and 
bringing to it a host of lively attractions. 
Photograph courtesy of Jamie Williams. 

Sixth. Professional art administrators and 
professional preservationists, their careers 
spawned in the first place by the culturebox 
phenomenon, need continuing work and 
become a force behind further cultureboxes. 

.Any two or three of these proximate 
causes coming together can make a culture- 
box. All are manifestations of the larger 
forces described above. 

If the culturebox phenomenon has been 
so sudden, does that mean that its moment 
may be brief? Does the current antagonism 
of the federal go\ernment to public invest- 
ment in culture — especially nonelitist 
cidture — mean that the boom is over? 


The answer to that isn't in yet. It depends 
on the future of a much bigger phenomenon. 

// the culturebox phenomenon 

has been so sudden, does 

that mean that its moment may 

be briet? Does the current 

antagonism of the federal 

government to public investment 

In culture — especially 

nonelltlst culture — mean that 

the boom is over? 

This phenomenon is the Great With- 
drawal into Privacy, or what you might call 
the shift from a real sensory world into a 
media world. 

Dr. Roberta Balstad Miller has pointed 
out that Western man's withdrawal into 
privacy began as long ago as the Middle 
Ages. Like all the later stages of the with- 
drawal, this one was made possible by an 
advance in technology. The invention of 
the fireplace and the chimney allowed 
1 different subsets of society — nobles, families, 
I monks — to retire into heated separate 
' rooms, thus ending forever the previous 

lifestyle in which all classes gathered to 
1 eat and sleep, sing and tell stories around the 

one central fire in the nobleman's Great 
I Hall. 

Even after the fireplace there was lots of 
public life. You still couldn't do much in the 
way of recreation except gather with other 
people. Home was crowded and usually 
either too hot or too chilly, depending on 
the season. People therefore went out to the 
collective warmth of the tavern or theater 
in winter, or the cool park or seashore in 

Then came more technology, more 
prosperity. There were fewer people at home 
and there was more space. There were 
central heating and maybe air conditioning. 
.And there were private, media substitutes 
for the old collective entertainments. First 
came the book and the great age of recre- 
ational reading from Walter Scott to maybe 
J(5hn Galsworthy. Then came the radio, 
the phonograph, the television. Even the 
cinema, though outside the home, is an 
individual and private experience rather 
than a collective one like theater. 

The change from a public culture to 
a media culture helped make possible, after 
World War II, the move to the suburbs, 
away from the old centers of public culture. 

One of the glories of the brief great age of 
movie palaces, the Indiana Theatre in India- 
nafiolis was built in 1926 in a kind of Barnum 
Presents Spanish Baroque style. The heads in 
the medallions are King Ferdinand and 
Queen Isabella. The Indiana Repertory Com- 
pany converted the mammoth interior into 
a mix of large and small theaters and xcork 
sfmces, preserving the great facade and lobby 
for use in a more pluralistic age. Photograph 
courtesy of Indiana Repertory Theatre. 

Now you could experience culture over 
the air, "in the privacy of your own living 
room." You didn't need theaters and 
museums. And your new home, in any case, 
wasn't convenient to them. The cycle was 

A local planning agency's search for some way 
to revitalize a downtown was the catalyst for this 
culturebox. The planners decided that what 
was needed urns a cultural use and persuaded 
the Whole Theatre Company to occupy a 
former bank. The once featureless building has 
been transformed with elegant restraint. Photo- 
graphs courtesy of Whole Theatre Company. 


Architect William Warner's playhouse pretends 
to be, like its surroundings, an accumulation 
over time: a fishing shack apparently tacked 
onto a warehouse, with other bits and pieces 
added or subtracted here and there, and the 
whole thing finally converted for use as a 
theater. Actually M'arner designed it all in a 
week-long public competition. Past and 
present, function and container, irony and 
illusion jostle and crowd one another in this 
playful fjlayhouse, still unfortunately not 
built. Pholografih courtesy of Proinncetoirn 
Playhouse on the Wharf, Inc. 

Even architecture, the most physically 
rooted of all cultural expressions, eventually 
found a way to present itself as a media 
experience. Color reproductions of designs 
in magazines carried to international fame 
the reputations of architects who had built 
very little. Galleries began to sell these 
architects' drawings. Now you could possess 
architecture, too, on the private wall of 
that same living room. 

At some point, the noveltv of the media 
culture began to wear off. People realized 
they were missing the social side of culture. 
They yearned for the sense of gathering, 
of communality, of mutual experience. 
Nostalgic mock communities like Disneyland 
proved astoundingly popular. There was 
a rebirth of public art. Then, in the 1970s, 
the cultureboxes appeared. In every 
village and town, they drew people together 
again, out of their privacy and into public 
gatherings to experience art, culture, history, 
architecture, and each other. 

At some point, the novelty of 

the media culture began to 

wear off. People realized they 

were missing the social 

side of culture. 

Urban renewal on the West Side offered this 
already existing dance comfmny two choices: 
move out, or purchase and renovate its rented 
quarters. Deep ties to the multiethnic neigh- 
borhood made moving unthinkable. A small 
$3,500 federal grant led eventually to a $700,000 
renovation of the company's original building 
and also the one next door, both former 
carriage houses. Photograf)h courtesy of Ballet 
Hispanico; drawing courtesy of Buck/ Cane 

It sounds like the ii.ipjn- end of a fable. 
But it isn't. 

Again, now, we hear of yet another media 
revolution: cable television, video disc. 
All the masterpieces of Western art will be 
available on a single disc, retrievable by 
laser scan. Again we are being told that we 
can have an art and a culture freed from 
the shackles of place, freed from social 

The Withdrawal into Privacy ne\er really 
stopped. A recent study shows that the 
average size of a household in Manhattan 
has dropped below 2.0 persons. In Western 
nations, at least, the stream is still flowing 
from public to private as it has since the 
Middle Ages. All these wonderful culture- 
boxes may be even more important than 
we think. They may be the last hope for the 
ideal of a public culture, of an art that 
brings people together in place. 


All these wonderful cultureboxes may be even more 
important than we think. They may be the last hope 
for the ideal of a public culture, of an art that brings 

people together in place. 

As u'ith most of its sister cultureboxes, the 
notion of multifile new tises in an old building 
is the basis of the Folly. This national land- 
mark theater, built in 1900 in Beaux-Arts style, 
closed its doors as a fjornographic house in 
1973. Plans then called for a parking lot on the 
site. The Performing Arts Foundation of Kansas 
City sprang into existence for the explicit 
purpose of buying the Folly and fixing it up 
for opera, theater, jazz, dance, and convention 
uses. Photograj)h courtesy of Performing Arts 
Foundation nf Kansas City. 

Robert Campbell is an architect and the 
architectural critic for the Boston Globe. 



The frenzied tourist lunges up the steps 
toward the museum's columned entrance. 
"Quick.! Where's the Mono Lisa}" he pleads. 

"I'm (l(>ui)le-parive(l." 

It is a vintage Nciu Yorker cartoon and 
close to its source: the museum-goer, 1960s 
style. Breathless for tlie cultural cachet 
of art, the adventurer was leaping toward 
the jewel within the jewelbox. 

Update the cartoon to the 1980s. Our 
blurry-eyed culture-seeker still races. Only 
now the figure is heading toward three 
futuristic pyramids poised against the liori- 
zontal grid of a Star Wars structure. "Quick! 
W'here's the galleria, bookstore, and gift 
shop?" we hear his graphic plea. "My 
MasterCard is expiring." Today's cartoon 
has a new message: Our museum-goer is 
after cultural consumption rather than art 
absorption. So, of course, is the new 
museum architecture that directs his or her 
steps. Examine that architecture from this 
fiercest decade in .American art-museum 
building and you see how it reflects and pro- 
motes this altered quest. The mcgaspaces 
of the atrium, the light-strewn snackbar, the 
sleek gift sliop are the cultural ccjuivalent 
of the Mona Lisa. 

In terms of space alone, tlie new art 
museums and additions boasting this archi- 
tecture have proliferated beyond our 
capacity to count them. No agency, even 
that of the museum lobbyist, has recorded 
their number. "\V' e wouldn't be able to keep 
track because they open every day," says 
the 8,100-member .American Association of 
Museums. Even the more specialized 
130-member Association of Art Museum 
Directors can't say for sure. But they both 
insist that the wave has not yet crested. 
"People are building because they're run- 
ning out of space," says the agency's director. 

The public in both its private and 
municipal guises seems willing to pay for 
these appendages. Even in tight times, 
the Dallas Art Museum is constructing new 
quarters funded by a .S25-million bond 
issue, and $5-to-10-million additions will 
soon rise in Miami, .Atlanta, and elsewhere. 

If what we see is what we can expect to 
see more of, then the portfolio of 1970s mu- 
seums shown on these pages suggests that 
the new museum will frecpicntly ije an 
abrupt departure from tiic old. The Centre 
Pompidou in Paris with its flagrant fiesta 
of colored pipes and mechanical Ijravado is 
extreme, but, everywiicre, the last decade 
of rampant construction has altered the way 
most of us see art. Bearing the name of 
an architect cum artist (Edward Larrabee 
Barnes, Philip Johnson, and I. M. Pei have 
been the holy trinity) , these structures 
offer elegant and lofty spaces and glimpses 
of the outdoors framed by carefully 
crafted but blunt or rough materials. They 
are expansive rather than intimate, finished 
with high-tech sheen rather than old- 
style ornament, and, by and large, they are 
used as support systems for the commercial 
rather than "pure" life of art. 

"Go to the Met and you feel you're in 
Bloomingdale's," Mimi Guardieri, director 
of the .Association of .Art Museum Directors, 
puts it. "I do all my Christmas shopping 
there. .And why not? Museums are big busi- 
ness now, where years ago they were 
nice places to visit to get in out of the rain." 
Clearly today's art museum architecture 
not only lets in the sunshine and shows off 
the talents of its designer, but provides 
administrative, restaurant, and fundraising 
space. More incidentally, it shows off 
the art. 

The corollary to the Bloomingdale-ization 
is that museum additions of the 1970s 
have treated the predecessor buildings with 
expediency: the old architecture is merely 
a first skin on which the new is grafted. 
If the aim of the traditional museum is to 
conserve the art of the past, the aim of 
modern museum architecture is to serve the 
needs of the present. .A half century or so 
after its founding, the Dallas Museum moves 
away to new quarters: mere decades after 
constructing its original building, the Clark 
.Art Institute allows Pietro Belluschi 
and The .Architects Collaborative to l)uild 
an addition that overwhelms the last- 
gasp, classical design of the first; and I. M. 
Pei spins the main entrance of Guy 
Lowell's ponderously Roman Boston Mu- 
seum of Fine .\rts to a new roundabout 
(Iri\ cway. Finally, acting in extrematis, 
Pliilip Johnson sliows few cjualms about 
scuttling his 1960-64 landmark Sculpture 
Court at the Museum of Modern Art 
(MOM.A) for a high-rise real estate venture 
that promises to be highly lucrative for 


Will old-style museum-going become 
equally obsolete? Most of us who were raised 
to love art grew up in its old umbrella era, 
under an architecture that was a sheltering 
tomb. Doting parents enamored of our 
future — or even of, heaven help us, art itself 
— took us to clammy, sometimes forbidding 
interiors. On dull days, we eyed the im- 
pressionists and furtively patted, the sar- 
cophagus despite enforcement of the early 
lessons in that reverence called do-not-touch. 
We were still descendants of that first mu- 
seum incantation: to worship. Children 
of the nineteenth century alive in the 
twentieth, we were reared under the old 
axioms to seek refuge and acquire culture 
from times and places not our own. 

To inspire that awe, our late-nineteenth- 
century museum architects had followed 
the inspiration of classical precedent. Their 
architecture was an elegy to the ancients, 
isolated in parks far away from the hurly- 
burly of getting and spending. These 
Beau\-.\rts palaces for the people allowed 
ample ceremonial or gathering spaces within, 
but their end was not the personal exhibi- 
tionism or relief from art implied in today's 
phrase "museum fatigue." Even Frank 
Llovd Wright, whose GuoCTenheim was a 
piece of spiral showmanship, insisted that he 
concerned himself with the serenity of the 
art viewer. "The net result of such con- 
struction," he declared, "is a greater repose, 
the atmosphere of the quiet unbroken wave: 
no meeting of the eye with the abrupt 
changes of form." 

Repose, tranquillity, the opportunity to 
concentrate, even to muse, were, and are, 
the virtues of the old closed chambers; and 
some people, architects high among them, 
did not take kindly to their less endearing, 
more moribund aspects. In the last decade or 
more, that virus called "museum fatigue" 
was said to result from overexposure to art 
in this traditional museum environment. 
Its symptoms — tired feet, weepy eyes — 
could only be cured by cutaways to the out- 
doors, skylight illumination, and the spacier 
elements of architecture that also, one 
might add, did a lot for energy savings and 
the proper illumination of art. Of course, if 
the cutaway could make a sculptural state- 
ment (as in Marcel Breuer's window for 
the \\'hitney Museum) , so much the better; 
if it could allow glimpses of the outdoors 
to reduce a vast and boxy architecture (as in 
Kenzo Tange's Minneapolis Institute of 
Art) , so much the more refreshing. 

Refreshing, then, is the operative word 
of this decade. Dwarfing spaces are said to be 
"rejuvenating," the way light is "freeing"; 
and, if crowd counts matter, these harrowing 
vaults and echoing chambers have their 
followers. "The W'est Wing looks like a 
shopping mall," a friend describes Boston's 
new addition. "But then, I like shopping 
malls." Observes another, "It makes the old 
museum seem closed and claustrophobic." 

Those who wore out saddle shoes, white 
bucks, or penny loafers in the once and 
former Museum, may not feel so. They 
may have iiked it better when they did not 
really recall any architecture at all, when 
the sense of surroundings was not so clear, 
not so spectacularly present. If the architec- 
ture of the old Museum bred only the feel 
of stone, the ambience of gray, for this 
first half of the twentieth century, in its stead 
are memories of Monet's haystacks and 
Renoir's dancing couple. (I blushingly 
admit no remembrance of Philadelphia's 
Barnes Foundation of my early adulthood, 
but I do have a profound memory of its 
contents — painting beside painting, master- 
pieces from floor to ceiling. .\rt, that is, 

Today's airy and elegant museum spaces 
have their advocates. Indeed, the spirit does 
respond to light pouring down from gridded 
barrel vaults, gymnastic constructions, the 
spare — and eminently photogenic — geome- 
tries offered. Certainly the new architec- 
ture shows the giant color canvases of our 
generation to good advantage and, if one 
may be pragmatic, seems to help pay the 
bills. But still, I wonder. I worry about our 
cartoon culture-seekers. \ parking ticket 
is a small price to pay if the objects in the 
old Louvre charm the visitor to stay for 
more than the Mona Lisa. But will the 
modern museum that is cousin to a mall in 
content as well as architecture in the long 
run really sustain? 


Jane Holtz Kay is the author of Lost Boston. 
She writes on architecture and urban design 
for the Cliristian Science Monitor and has 
contributed to \.\\e\'ntioti. 






The East Building of "Washington's National Gallery 

Although the odd-angled East ^Ving geome- 
tr\' has its rationale, obseners of Pei-sian 
architecture suspect that this prolific formal- 
ist had his eye on the sculptural delights 
of the triangle and oblong. The most con- 
spicuous media event of our museum- 
building era. the 1979 National Gallery 
addition typifies the approach of the new 
museum spaces — their asymmetry (versus 
the orderly, dead-center John Russell Pope 
original) ; the soaring, dwarfing entry 
(versus the narrow, leafed-over courtyards 
of the old) ; the skylight giving a feel of 

the outdoors (versus the earlier dome with 
its interior celestial skymaking) . The Calder 
mobile spidering out to catch the breeze 
beneath the weblike shape of the tetra- 
hedron's gridded ceiling conveys the sense 
of the pedestrian moving through an out- 
door place where art is almost an 

The East Gallery Court in John Russell 
Pope's original building. Photograph 
courtesy of the Xational Gallery of Art. 

^— ^B— <«^^i^B*^^BB 


^^ jjff^*^^ 

Baa StefiBT, e»Yti^ fll^ 




/*• j . - '• 




The rotunda in the West Bu 

Iding. Photo- 

graph courtesy of the National Gallery | 

oj Art. 


Entrance to Pel's East Wing. 

Photograph by 

Ezra Stoller, ESTO, 1978. 



^\'alker Art Center 

A decade ago, the Walker Art Center opted 
for a ring-around-the-art approach to 
making a new museum. Staff members enjoy 
the benefits of "continuous interior walls 
and extended vistas." museum administra- 
tors reported, and the confined space doesn't 
become wearisome or claustrophobic in 
so small a structure. Although designed be- 
fore the days of the cultural complex — 
diverse arts enterprises under one roof — 
Edward Larrabee Barnes's museum 
incorporates the Guthrie Theater, hence 
increasing revenues and nighttime use. Early 
on, the Walker .\rt Center's Desis,n 

Quarterly editor lauded the combination 
of traditional museum functions — "preserv- 
ing and presenting works of art, with a new 
objective to provide large, flexible areas 
for the creation of ambitious works" (shown 
here) — and prophesied a future where 
"an open environment for the experience 
of art unites the artist's needs with those 
of his growing audience." That audience has 
only grown. 

Flexible exhibition space. Photograph 
courtesy ]]'alker Art Center, Minneapolis. 



Yale Center for British Art 

Do paintings of fox hunts and rural land- 
scapes that Prince Charles might find 
suitable have an affinity for a concrete en- 
vironment? That thought probably never 
bothered architect Louis Kahn, whose 
vocabulary of the molded slab and bunker- 
esque central cylinder has enough wood and 
rug to live in reasonable harmony with 
the Mellon collection at Yale's British Art 
Center. Heeding a lesson from Jane Jacobs 
about "streets for people," the master 
architect incorporatecl some shops beneath 
the industrial-looking scored steel and 

glass facade. These fit into their site less 
successfully than the English art settles into 
its calmly luxurious and well-lit interior. 


The Library Court. Photograph Courtesy of 
Yale Center for British Art. 


Fourth-floor exhibition space. Photograph 
courtesy of Yale Center for British .Irt. 

. stbif 


Commercial shops on street level. 
Photograph by Tom Brown. 


Additions to the Met 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art additions 
by Kevin Roche/John Dinkeloo merit 
examination for their scope as city plan as 
much as for their organization as a single 
piece of architecture. The frenetic renova- 
tions have their fans and their vehement 
critics. "In 1970 a narrow flight of steps was 
replaced by grotescjue sprawling steps 
which have made the facade appear prog- 
nathic or lantern-jawed," Henry Hope Reed 
wrote in The Golden City, his polemic 
against contemporary architecture. Most 
New Yorkers have voted for this change with 
their bottoms, however, and the spot is an 

urban favorite. The rear exterior, usurping 
Central Park, otherwise dismays many, while 
the countless interior alterations — from 
the vast space for the Andre Meyer Col- 
lection to the enclosure of the Renaissance 
exterior — gets the same mixed review's 
as most vast urban efforts whose scope 
is measured in decades as well as details of 

Fifth Avenue entrance. Photograph by 
John Barrington Bayley, courtesy of 
H. H. Reed. 


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TheAmaiam Wimg. Pkolapmpk womrter 
ofKaim Bathe/ Jehm DimkHoo mmi 






The Boston Museum's West Wing 

If fresh air and wide-open spaces mean 
freedom for museum-goers, then I. M. Pei's 
160,000-square-foot West Wing for the 
Boston Museum of Fine Arts is the modern 
museum's metaphysical equivalent of "Go 
West, young man." Despite the blank 
facades, Pei illuminates the would-be cavern- 
ous quarters, including a 200-foot gallery 
and still longer indoor/outdoor cafe, with 
skylights. Master of the superscale polished 
off to the last exquisite inch, the architect 
tried to relate the addition to the classical 
Guy Lowell— designed main museum by 
using granite blocks of parallel heft, but he 

didn't bother to attend to the grim island 
of asphalt parking around it. The Museum's 
successful §22-million fund drive also paid 
to add climate controls to the old museum 
and offered evidence that even a sluggish 
art community shares in the museum edifice 
complex of the last decade or so. 


The 200-foot gallery, cafe, and museum shop. 


Interior and exterior geometries. 



Entrance to the West 




of West Wing, 


Museum of Fine Arts 

. Photo 



•I Lutsch. 





ust as the Financial Crisis of the Arts 
that we ha\e publicly viewed with alarm 
for fifteen years of ever-growing Na- 
tional Endowment budgets has finally 
happened, the arts community's annual cry 
of poverty seems to have been enfeebled 
by overuse. I'm not especially upset by this 
apparent devaluation of the art lobby's 
currency, because I think there are better 
ways to support the arts, and more secure 
ones, than annual mendicancy at the govern- 
ment's gates. 

Tough times arc ahead for sure, and re- 
ducing the Arts Endowment's budget to 
reflect the buying pow'er it had in 1974 — 
as Congress has just done — is not the worst 
of it. Most government support for culture 
consists of tax forgiveness on cliaritable 
contributions. \\'hen a wealthy person gave 
a hundred dollars to a muscmn last year, 
it cost him only thirty, since the federal gov- 
ernment kicked in seventy when he paid 
his taxes in April. But the tax cuts just en- 
acted for the next three years will cost 
donors much of their own money when 
they make these contributions. For the 
wealthy people who tend to support cultural 
institutions, tiie price increase for a chari- 
table gift will be sixty-seven percent as their 
marginal tax rates fall from seventy to 
fifty percent. In a recent conversation, Con- 
gressman Jack Kemp and President Reagan 
debated whether the top rate should ulti- 
mately fall to thirty or to forty percent; if 
Kemp prevails, charitable contributions will 
cost donors at least seventy cents per dollar 
given, or a 133 percent increase from 1980. 

True, the tax reductions will leave donors 
with more money, and this increase in 
disposable income will somewhat offset the 
increase in the cost of philanthropy. But 
the "price effect" of the tax rate changes 
will, I predict, far outweigh the "income 
effect," at least for the next few years. After 
all, the government is accompanying its 
tax cuts with a variety of strategies to ensure 
that as much as possible of the tax savings 

is sa\cd or iincstcd, and increased con- 
sumption will inevitablv take a share. On 
the whole, then, the Endowment cuts will be 
painful — but the changes in the tax rates 
will be dc\ astating. 

The funding situation for the arts will 
be especially serious compared to other 
sectors of the economy, because the 
institutions and individuals involved in the 
arts liave been conditioned to think about 
their problem in a particularly unconstruc- 
ti\e and ill-adapted way. The coming 
crisis in funding the arts cannot be handled 
satisfactorily until three serious problems 
endemic to the arts community itself are 
squarely faced and dealt with. First, we 
sjjcak about the arts and policy in a sloppy 
way: second, we ignore opportunities to 
ha\c more art for less money; and third, we 
treat artists as though they were helpless 
or charitable objects instead of productive 
working people. 

Art and Language 

The first problem is, interestingly, an 
analytic one: the vocabulary conven- 
tionally used to discuss arts policy will 
not support constructive debate. I can give 
only a few examples here. Consider how 
carelessly we use phrases like " this program 
is good for the arts." What "the arts" 
means in a sentence like this is anybody's 
guess. (Such language may be used in- 
tentionally to allow the appearance of con- 
sensus where real opposition of interests 
exists.) Does it mean artists — will it increase 
artists' incomes or employ more of them? 
Perhaps it means the art itself — does it 
imply the j^roper preservation and conserva- 
tion of artifacts? It might mean art 
consumers — perhaps the program increases 
the (]uality of the artistic experience for 
museum-goers; or perhaps it reduces admis- 
sion prices or increases access so that more 
people attend. Maybe the program in 
cjuestion is really good for arts institutions — 

it might increase the endowment of mu- 
seums or allow them to buy and store more 
objects. What is certain is that no scheme 
advanced as "good for the arts" is good for 
all these at once. To give only one example 
of inevitable conflict, having more people 
look at the art in museum collections is 
bad for the objects themselves. (It increases 
the risk of light damage, theft, or accident.) 

Other fuz/y locutions that we use as 
though they really meant sometliinj; 
are easy to find: "Museums should h 
free." Of course they should, like bread 
and health care. But they aren't and they 
won't be. This phrase actually means, ".Mu- 
seums should be paid for Ijy people who 
don't attend them." Or "A third of a millior 
people attended the Hometown Symphony 
Orchestra last year." No, they didn't; 
only about ten thousand people attended, 
most of them with thirty-performance sub- 
scriptions. Instead of a quarter of the 
Hometown population, the symphony only 
serves about one percent with live 

Productivity Myths 

Many widely held beliefs about the 
arts are false; one of the most 
damaging is the idea that for fundj 
mental economic reasons, the arts can never 
support themselves without charitable or 
government support. .Although there is a 
kernel of truth in this idea, it has been 
generalized and extrapolated far beyond its 
rather narrow regions of validity, to argue 
that no particular arts institution or artist 
can survive without government aid or 
that all art in all media can only be had if 
someone gives it to us as a grant. 

.\n especially damaging consequence of 
carelessly thinking that art is in thrall to 
subsidies is that we ignore good opportuni- 
ties to increase the enjoyment of art without 
having to turn to charity or the government 



The problem is especially acute in the 
performing arts, and it is partly due, ironic- 
ally, to one of the best pieces of analytic 
work ever done in this area. The work is 
The Economics of the Performing Arts by 
William Baumol and William BowenJ 
The authors studied the cost of live per- 
formances of music, theater, and opera and 
found that while production costs in the 
rest of society were falling in response 
to automation, they were staying nearly 
constant in the performing arts. This was 
because, for example, no substitute for 
104 live performers can be found to reduce 
labor costs of the symphony orchestra. 
nor can the capacity of a hall be doubled or 
tripled to allow more people to enjoy a 
single performance, nor can tempi be 
doubled to increase the number of pieces 

The conclusion drawn from this analysis 
is that live performances will become 
increasingly expensive compared to 
other goods, and little can be done about 
this permanent relative cost increase. 
Unfortunately, this correct conclusion has 
been restated carelessly to apply to music, 
theater, and opera. If you are like most 
readers, you probably stopped at the last 
sentence trying to find the carelessness; I did 
say "music, theater, and opera" in the 
previous paragraph. \V'hat got lost in the 
summary is the "live performance" restric- 
tion. Unless we think that recorded, tele- 
vised, or filmed performances in these media 
are not art,* the opportunities they offer 
to increase productivity must be taken into 
account as a balance against the increasing 
relative costs of live performance. I happen 
to think that recordings, movies, and filmed 
performances are not as good as live per- 
formances — but they are enormously better 
than nothing, and I am quite taken with 
the fact that more people saw La Boheme 
when it was first broadcast on television 
than had ever seen it in the century since it 

was written. I am also taken with the fact 
that pictures of the whole painting collec- 
tion of the Metropolitan Museum of .\rt can 
be stored on a videodisc that costs a few 
dollars. Looking at a painting on your tele- 
vision set isn't the same as looking at the 
original — but it's more like seeing those 
paintings than the alternative for most 
people, which is not seeing them at all.-j- 

A useful application of Baumol and 
Bow-en's analysis would be a search for mech- 
anisms by which the spectacularly 
increased market for fine arts afforded by 
twentieth-century technology can be 
used aggressively to support the companies 
that supply live performances to the 
electronic media, such as new kinds of royalty 
agreements or aggressive marketing of fine 
arts to videodisc and videotape owners. 

Art and Cliarity 

The previous two problems cause us, 
first, to reason carelessly about specific 
art policies and subsidies, not recog- 
nizing exactly whom they benefit and whom 
they disserve, and, second, to ignore oppor- 
tunities to use technological advances to 
improve support for the arts without 
depending on government or private charity. 
Tlie most important obstacle to a sound 
financial policy for tlie arts is a generaliza- 
tion of the second problem, but it seems to 
be more a psychological attitude than a 
careless analysis: I refer to the willingness 
of arts advocates to have artists and art 
consumers treated as though they were 
helpless or wretched. 

A strong and, to my mind, valid American 
tradition denies government assistance to 
people or activities unless certain specific 
conditions hold true. These are, roughly, 
(1) that certain services or economic goods 
will not be provided sufficiently if the market 
is allowed to operate freely, and (2) that 
certain people — poverty-stricken against 
their will, victims of catastrophe, physically 
or mentally handicapped — cannot do 

useful economic work. Examples in the first 
category, which economists call maiket 
failures, include national defense, environ- 
mental quality, city parks, and public 
education. Examples of assistance to the 
second category are familiar: welfare, a tax 
exemption for the blind, public hospitals. 

Reasonable people can differ technically 
over some of the decisions we have 
made: some people think our National 
Parks would be provided appropriately by 
the market and should be denationalized; 
some towns pick up the garbage as a govern- 
ment service and some leave it to private 
contractors. But almost everyone agrees that 
the market failure test is by and large the 
right one to apply in deciding whether to 
subsidize an industry or service. (Socialists 
do not agree, but that is another level of 
debate entirely.) Regarding aid to individ- 
uals, the tradition is violated in fact as the 
rich and powerful occasionally find ways to 
loot the public till, but even these "Hood 
Robin" programs, for example are not 
accepted by the public unless they can be 
misdescribed as benefiting the unfortunate. 

Two aspects of this tradition bear em- 
phasizing. First, .\mericans do not widely 
accept the idea that the government should 
take over an industry, or reward persons, 
merely because the industry's goods are 
valuable or the pecjple are good folks. Sec- 
ond, we try not to provide aid to individuals 
who have chosen, for whatever reason, to 
be poor: to get unemployment compen- 
sation, you must be available to take a job 
if one turns up; to get welfare, you must 
have children to care for, not just choose to 
sit at home. 

Do the arts, generally considered, 
qualify for government charity under 
these rules? If an aggregate answer 
must be given, it is probably "no," though 
important exceptions exist. There are activi- 
ties important to the arts, and particidar 

1. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1965. 
'The definitive rebuttal to this narrow view is 
provided by E. M. Forster in "Co-ordination" 
{Collected Short Stories Harmondsworth, Middle- 
sex: Penguin, 1954.) 

t For all Americans to see the whole Met once 
in their lifetime would require museum attendance 
to be about 3 million eight-hour visits per year, 
in a building tripled in size to allow display of 
the works now in storage, plus transportation for 
everyone who does not now visit New York. 
Is it "art" for original paintings to be seen under 
these conditions? 


types of artists, who qualify for government 
support under even very^ strict conceptual 
tests. In the general case, we do not observe 
consistent or pervasive market failures: 
most artistic products can be bought and 
sold privately in various forms (admission 
can be charged to performances, paintings 
are purchased, writings are published and 
copies sold) . The important exceptions 
to the ,gcneral answer also lie within this 
category, however: public sculptures, urban 
design, and art-historical research are 
examples of goods that we will not get 
enough of in the market alone. 

If market failure does not justify wide- 
spread nationalization of tlic arts, a justifica- 
tion must lie in conditions of the people 
involved in it. There are two large groups 
of people involved in the arts: art consumers 
or patrons, and artists. 

.Art consumers, as they are and as they 
have remained despite the explosion in 
government support to date, are overwhelm- 
ingly concentrated in the most comfortable 
economic strata. Those few consumers of 
fine arts who are poor are much better and 
more efficiently reached by programs 
directed generally at the poor than by arts 

Artists mostly have low incomes from 
employment as artists, but their situation is 
usually quite different from that of an 
uneducated or untalentcd person in a dead- 
end job or that of an unemployed auto- 
mobile worker. First, the art labor market is 
not a certain lifetime of penury, but a lot- 
tery with a small probability of very large 
payoffs for those who "make it." Second, 
artists share only with professional athletes 
the distinction that they do for pay what 
very many people do for fun. A painter 
struggling to solve an intractable visual 
problem may have less fun at work than a 
plumber, but the fraction of artists who 
unclog toilets on weekends as a hobby is 
minute compared to the number of plumb- 

ers who sing, take photographs, paint, act 
in amateur productions, or write poetry. 
Similarly, the artists who support themselves 
as waiters, house painters, cab drivers, or 
teachers do so only as much as necessary and 
long for the time when they can do art full- 
time, whereas almost no one feels forced 
to earn a living dancing with the ballet, at 
least until a good opportunity to drive a taxi 
turns up. .Accordingly, it is widely perceived 
that the good fortune to be able to practice 
art ou,ght to make up in enjoyment on the 
job at least in part for the low income many 
artists earn. 

True, many people cannot support them- 
selves as artists and wish to. But the 
implications of this for policy are 
uncertain; I know of no accepted principle 
that anyone has a right to earn a living doing 
whatever he or she pleases. We do not pay 
doctors' salaries to people who cannot be 
admitted to medical school; we do not ap- 
point everyone who asks to tenured profes- 
sorships in universities. It may be that 
we should decide, as the Dutch have, that 
anyone who wants to call himself or herself 
an artist deserves to be supported as such 
by the state, but I don't think this argument 
would attract many adherents here. 

The foregoing paragraphs have been the 
briefest possible consideration of the com- 
plicated question "How, why, and when 
should government support the arts?" I want 
to draw from it only the following conclu- 
sion: There is no reason to expect that the 
arts generally or mostly should be supported 
by the government, or must be. .\nd a 
corollary: Opportimities to support impor- 
tant sc.gments of the arts tlirough the free 
market exist and should be pin-sued rather 
than ignored. The problem addressed 
here is not that some arts activities are sub- 
sidized or treated as charities, but that 
intelligent people, like Harold Prince — 
whose recent Xew York Times'^ article on 

National Endowment budget cutting was 
sent to me from at least two different sources 
— can entirely omit from a serious discus- 
sion of funding cidture any reference to 
the possibility that the arts have any hope 
outside charity. This sort of tunnel vision is 
very damaging to the cause of art and 
artists in practical terms. It is also insulting 
to artists. 

I was raised by a sculptor — only modestly 
successful financially — who transmitted 
to me the belief that artists were productive 
people who did useful work of value to 
society. .Accordingly, I have been surprised 
to learn that a great many of her colleagues 
in the arts have given up on the market and 
think they have to rely on public funding 
through the tax and ,grant/subsidy system. 

Was my mother wrong? I don't think so, 
though reforming the system to respect her 
understanding of how things ought to be is 
e.isier in some media — visual arts, for 
example — than in others. ^Vhat is the evi- 
dence that the arts can, or should, be 
supported more in the market and less by 

Alt in the Market 

First, there is tlie remarkable addictive 
quality of the fine arts. I know no one 
who has lost a developed taste for what 
is generally considered fine arts or whose 
taste has changed from chamber music, say, 
to punk rock. .A customer once hooked is 
hooked for life — a tremendous marketing 
advantage, as the purveyors of tobacco and 
other drugs know. In a fair competition for 
leisure time and disposable time and income, 
the arts will prevail over snowmobiling, 
television viewing, and other pursuits that 
get more boring rather than more interesting 
with experience. 

Second, the arts can be enjoyed in many 
different ways. Television can only be 
watched, and snowmobiles can only be 

*lt is extremely difficult to target art subsidies to 
a particular income level, except possibly by 
locating public artifacts in poor neighborhoods. 
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston used to be 
open one night per week with free admission 
— an expensive service for the museum to deliver, 
considering overtime and scheduling. The 
stated intention of this scheme was to allow low- 
Income people, such as students, to attend the 

Museum, I was at that time working forthe 
Museum as a planner, and one of the guards 
suggested that I look at the cloakroom on a Tues- 
day evening. As he predicted, it was bulging 
with furs and very short on army jackets and 
grubby down parkas. Survey research revealed 
that the Tuesday evening audience was indeed 
somewhat more affluent and educated than the 
audience in general; the subsidy was being 

sopped up by exactly those patrons who were not 
supposed to be receiving it. Free admission on 
Tuesday nights was dropped shortly thereafter, 
but it is back, although on another day, perhaps 
because of powerful middle-class pressure in 
the name of a nonexistent charitable target. 

1. "The Arts Are in Economic Trouble. So, Who 
Needs Them? The Nation," 18 July 1981, p. 23. 

driven in the snow and fixed. Bnt paintings 
can be looked at in the home and in mu- 
seums; they can be an excuse to travel and 
can be collected; they can be studied visually, 
historically, and politically. They can be 
enjoyed for sentiment, associations, crafts- 
manship, narrative, devotion, composition, 
familiarity, and more. They can be painted. 
Opera can be listened to on the radio 
or television, studied for its lore and history 
the way baseball fans collect statistics, seen 
in person, sung in the shower or performed 
by amateurs in the living room, enjoyed 
as a spectacle or as a scene-painter for a local 
group, used as an emotional catharsis, or 
laughed at. And the content of paintings 
or music is at least as varied as the scenery 
seen from a snowmobile or on a television 

This variety of experience means that 
better marketing is possible: new consumers 
can be attracted to the arts by many of the 
overlaps between what your customers know 
they like and what you have to sell. This is 
a nation of gadgeteers: shade-tree mechanics 
can be approached through the craftsman- 
ship of welded or mechanical sculpture. 
Millions of people love the outdoors: they 
can be drawn into a lifetime association with 
the visual arts through nineteenth-century 
landscape painting. Americans are forever 
remodeling their homes: architects could 
explicate the connections between what 
makes a good kitchen and what makes a good 

All the above do not prove that the art 
lobby should ignore the government 
^ and abandon the cultural establish- 
ment to the free market. But — especially in 
concert with the very bleak outlook for gov- 
ernment and private philanthropy — it 
certainly supports a substantial diversion of 
resources from government to the private 
sector, and I don't mean merely begging at a 
different castle gate. Very large parts of the 

arts system now dependent on grants and 
gifts could operate more independently and 
more securely if real efforts were made to 
market cultural goods. .\t present, these 
efforts are obstructed by an interlocking pat- 
tern of causes, conventions, and effects 
that is difficult to undo piece by piece. But 
I can identify a few strands that arts advo- 
cates would do well to trace carefully. 

The first is the institutionalization of the 
arts. In primitive societies, art is typically 
an indivisible part of everyday life. Useful 
things are decorated, religious objects are 
used for practical purposes (to improve 
hunting, for example) , and commerce in 
and use of art are not distinguishable from 
the rest of the economy or from individual 
activities. The growth of institutions whose 
specific purpose is to house, create, or protect 
art — museimis. symphony orchestras, fine 
arts departments — has paralleled the de- 
velopment of goods whose only important 
qualities are aesthetic. This development of 
societies' increased prosperity and com- 
plexity has been rapidly advanced in this 
century in the United States by the tax law 
and everywhere by the tendency of institu- 
tions to further their own ends. An im- 
portant effect of the charitable-deduction 
method of distributing government support 
is to enshrine tax-exempt institutions as 
the only possible conduits for it: you can 
give your own money to an artist, but it's 
not tax-deductible and hence attracts no 
government matching effort. 

We now face a situation in which law- 
makers and others interested in the arts 
think of these institutions as the primary 
embodiments of the activity they might want 
to assist. In turn, the institutions have 
become the de facto certifying agencies for 
art itself. Some important things are left 
out in the cold by this test: amateur perform- 
ance or creations, artists who haven't been 
certified yet, and aspects and qualities of 
art that usually don't interest art historians 

or musicologists: political context, icon- 
ology, narrative, and technique of illusion, 
for example. 

The major institutions have, by and large, 
done an atrocious job of developing an 
audience, or market, for the arts; they 
have failed especially in broadening the 
audience beyond the children of people who 
already love the fine arts. I used to be much 
more angry about this consistent failure than 
I am now; why, after all, should the people 
who run these institutions contravene their 
own interests? As one trustee of the Boston 
Museum of Fine Arts told me in horror at 
a cocktail party, "Biu, if we do those things, 
they'll all just come in here and be all over 
the place!" These institutions cannot be 
expected to undo a system under which they 
have prospered in their own terms. 

To visit a major museum with one's eyes 
open to anything beyond the art itself is 
a prescription for heartbreak over missed 
opportunities. Why are labels so stingy with 
information? AVhy are the classes where 
one could see art being made by people 
hidden away in the attic or the basement? 
Why is negative critical judgment so rare? 
Why is the text of the catalogue, without the 
expensive color printing, not sold to carry 
around the exhibition? Why is there no 
place to sit? Why are there no objects that I 
can touch? Why are there no objects, like 
good furniture, which I can buy and own 
examples of on a middle-class income? Why 
aren't there guide pamphlets that anticipate 
different kinds of visitor expectations: 
"The Museum in Two Hours," "Craftsman- 
ship and Fabrication," "Politics in the Mu- 
seum Collections"? Why is there no easy 
way to register approval or disapproval of 
museum programs? \Vhy can't the "mem- 
bers" vote on anything, as members of the 
.\merican Medical .Association or a union 
can? Why is there no information on how to 
buy a work of art and how to start collecting 


on a stnall budj^tt? Why is there no di^phiv 
in which visitors tan participate, as in a 
science museum: if li<;htiii^ is important, 
why not present a painting in lighting under 
the control of a visitor, so he or she can 
push some buttons and see what difference 
daylight or fluorescence makes? I know of a 
few, rare examples of such imaginative 
efforts, but the overwhelming generality of 
the art museum's message to its visitors is 
a simple one: "If you don't know what 
you're looking at, or why you're here, or how 
to behave, you don't Ijelong here and we 
don't want you playing with our toys." 

Xew Stralei^ies 

The first target for those who wish to 
establish the arts as a pervasive, secure 
part of .American life would be the 
institutions that have such power to exclude 
the potential audience, and they should 
be forced into a 180-degree change of 

If the arts are going to be reclaimed, at 
least partly, from the institutions we have 
abandoned them to, other kinds of institu- 
tions have to take on some new responsibili- 
ties. Accordingly, the second target I would 
propose is the cinema and television pro- 
duction companies. .Arts advocacy groups 
should redirect their lobbying effort away 
from legislatures and toward the institutions 
that already have large audiences. Ask 
them questions like the following: Why do 
we never see sympathetic characters going to 
a museum or the opera? \Vhy do they never 
play chamber music for fun? Why does 
no interior set of a middle-class home have 
an original work of art? Why do the char- 
acters never have an intelligent conversation 
about a work of art or a performance? 

Why, in short, aren't you presenting the 
concept to .Americans that civilized people of 
moderate means should no more have a 
house without a work or two of original art 
than they should have a house without 
indoor plumbing? Why don't your scripts 
ever establish a person to have an inferior 
character or to be unsympathetic by showing 
him or her to be Philistine or ignorant 
about the arts? Why are the few characters 
with some link to the arts always kooky, 
weird, psychopathic, or infantile? 

Transferring support of the arts from gov- 
ernment to the market frightens some 
people who believe that things of value will 
be ignored and that mass culture will be- 
come a standard down to which the fine arts 
will be dragged. In defense of the grant 


svstem, they hold up tlie review panels of 
the National Endowments: as Mr. Prince 
observes, in a slightly different context, 
". . . an Endowment grant is a catalyst; the 
imprimatur of a panel review encourages 
private giving." In other words, not only do 
tlie few artists on a panel control direct 
government support according to their own 
\ ision and standards, but tliey substantially 
influence prhmte charity to reward what 
tliey like and deny gifts to what they don't. 

Such a panel used to be called an academy 
and innovative artists hated it: they were 
right tlien and Mr. Prince is wrong now. 
Note: for any artist to receive support from 
the Arts Endowment, a significant minority 
of the handful of panel members must ap- 
prove — but artists can be supported through 
the market if only a handful among mil- 
lions of art consumers like their work enough 
to buy a few pieces. Actually, it is the free 
market that allows the innovative, unusual, 
or visionary artist to be self-supporting, 
not the academy entrusted with a lion's share 
of government and (if Mr. Prince is correct) 
J private art funds. 

My objective in the foregoing discussion 
has been more modest than its range 
might imply. I haven't marshaled 
evidence to prove that support of the arts 
should be or can be entirely transferred to 
the private market. Rut I have sliown that 
the unexamined and unthinking commit- 
ment of tlie care and feeding of the arts to 
government and charity that has accom- 
panied recent growth in public direct sup- 
port is neither inevitable nor obviously wise. 
There is nothing about the arts that makes 
them generally unsuitable for private market 
support — as there is, for example, about 
environmental protection or the navy. There 
is nothing about artists or art consumers 
that generally qualifies them for the kind of 
charity we give helpless or incompetent 
people, or victims of natural disaster. 

There are important institutional obsta- 
cles to dismantling some of the apparatus of 
government art dependency, however, 
and there are bad intellectual and attitu- 
dinal habits among arts advocates that 
similarly obstruct development of market 
support for tlie arts. What is needed is, first, 
strong pressure on arts institutions to think 
of themselves as serving an audience that 
does not now feel welcome and to look 
actively for ways to market the arts; second, 
similar pressure on the institutions that form 
public attitudes toward culture; and third, 
some new habits of mind that would not, 
for example, let Mr. Prince get up from his 
tvpewriter without a word about private 
market art support. 

Michael O'Hare is Lecturer in Public 
Policy, Kennedy School of Government, 
Harvard University. He has just completed 
two years' service as Assistant Secretary 
of Environmental Affairs for the Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts and is completing 
a book under the sponsorship of the 
Twentieth Century Fund on indirect aid to 
the arts, with Alan L. Feld and J. Mark 





Michael O'Harc's piece "The 
Abandoned C.o\d Mine for the .\rts: 
Can We Afford Not to Reopen It?" 
may or may not have been sparked by the 
Reagan administration's proposed slashes in 
federal funds for the arts. But clearly much 
of the case lie makes for reduced federal 
support (or is it no support at all?) for 
the arts is premised upon the "tough times" 
that lie ahead. As such, it is important to 
distinguish between the administration's 
interpretation of the 1980 election as a 
"popular mandate" to slash total spending, 
and the far more specific issue of the appro- 
priate federal effort on behalf of the arts. 

Elections are notoriously gross means for 
the expression of citizen preferences. 
The 1980 election results certainly cannot 
be interpreted to mean that Americans are 
unwilling, or even less willing, to sup- 
port the arts with their tax dollars. In fact, 
the results of a Louis Harris poll taken in 

[uly 1980 indicate that seventy percent of all 
taxpayers would be willing to increase 
their taxes by five dollars if the money were 
spent on the arts. And with many Americans 
having become quite vocal on the issue 
of public funding for the arts, the Reagan 
administration has reassessed its original 
posture of slashing the budgets of all federal 
arts agencies. 

Nor is the sup])Osed decline in support 
for public funding of the arts apparent at 
the state level. Many state legislatures are 
actually appropriating more tax monies for 
the arts this year than ever before. Even 
since the passage of Proposition 13, 
California has increased its tax support of 
the arts from .S3 million to more than 
Sll million. Michigan, a state plagued with 
higii unemployment, just approved a twenty 
percent increase in the state arts budget, 
while Oklahoma, a probable bellwether 
for the nation, just increased its art budget 
by forty-two percent. 

Why in this era of budget cuts are states 
increasing funds for the arts? Re- 
cently, the states of California and 
\V'ashington completed studies showing that 
for every state tax dollar spent on the 
arts at least five dollars are generated locally 
and at least two dollars are returned to 
the state's treasury. In other words, for 
every dollar that is spent, two are returned 
to the state. 

.\ddressing the issue of individual support 
of the arts, Mr. O'Hare states that indirect 
aid is particularly important for the arts 
because wealthy taxpayers contribute dis- 
proportionately to art and education 
charities. In fact, of the S48 billion that 
-Americans donated to the nonprofit sector 
last year, eighty-four percent came from 
individuals and eighty percent of that from 
people with annual incomes of .S2.5,000 or 
less. Mr. O'Hare goes on to say that the 
arts "have been conditioned to think about 
their problem in a particularly unconstruc- 
tive and ill-adapted way." Why then has 
public and private support of all the arts 
grown so dramatically in the past two 

In discussing public and private support 
for the arts, the author incorrectly refers 
to the arts contributions and appro- 
priations as "charity." What he does not 
realize is that most arts organizations are 
nonprofit. To obtain this status, services 
must be provided to the community. Sever 
does nonprofit imply that these arts groups 
are poor, needy, or wards of the government. 
Other service providers, such as hospitals 
and public schools, rely upon private and 
government support to pay their bills. 
Without such contributions and appropria- 
tions, these services would not be within 
the means of the majority of American citi- 
zens. Arts organizations do not differ in 
these respects. Ticket prices for theater and 
dance performances, for example, would 
have to double or triple to cover production 
costs. Admission prices to museums, zoos, 
botanical gardens, and other institutions 
would also increase dramatically. 



Arts organizations receive an average of 
only six percent of their total income from 
the government. But this six percent 
generates local corporate, foundation, and 
individual support, which makes most 
arts organizations viable institutions. Con- 
trary to Mr. O'Hare's opinion, development 
of the arts in America — particularly since 
the inception of the National Endow- 
ments for the Arts and Humanities — is far- 
reaching and responsive to the unique 
needs of many communities. Government- 
supported arts programming is found in 
our schools, parks, shopping centers, institu- 
tions for the handicapped, and even our 
prisons. These programs develop the minds, 
talents, and sensory perceptions of the 
participants, as well as community identity 
and pride. Perhaps this is part of the reason 
why 54 million Americans participate in 
the arts each year. 

Thanks to the stimulus from government 
arts support, most American museums 
have developed education programs that 
directly respond to public needs and re- 
quests. These programs include personal 
tours by trained doccnts, participatory 
exhibitions, media presentations, catalogues, 
and maps. For those with physical dis- 
abilities, braille labeling, special tours, hear- 
ing devices, and wheelchairs can be found 
in many institutions. 

There are more museums, theaters, sym- 
phonies, dance and opera companies, and 
otlier arts organizations than ever before 
in American history. More people attend 
theaters and visit museums than attend 
live sporting events. The dance audience 
has grown by over 10 million .Americans 
annually since 1965; professional regional 
theaters have grown from less than a dozen 
to more than fifty. The facts are indicative 
of the enlightened responsiveness to public 
needs by arts administrators and boards 
of directors — not the opposite, as Mr. 
O'Hare contends. 

Government support of artists, as dis- 
cussed by Mr. O'Hare, requires 
accurate clarification. Mr. O'Hare 
postulates that since artists "have fun while 
working" we should not spend tax dollars 
supporting the individual artist. This state- 
ment is as unsupported as his comments 
concerning artists abandoning the private 
art market "to use government power to 
force people to pay them through the tax 
and grant/subsidy system." The private 
American art market has never been more 
active than throughout the last fifteen 
years. What government support exists for 
individual artists is not designed to provide 
living wages; rather, fellowship and grant 
support is designed to stimulate creative 
endeavors, assist in the purchase of artists' 
materials, and begin or finish projects. 

In 1980 the National Endowment 
awarded 1 19 artist fellowships of 
S10,000 each and 197 fellowships of 
§3,000 each. These are hardly living wages 
— particularly in light of the great expense 
involved in the purchase of art supplies. 
Of the 36 million Americans who are 
painters, scidptors, and ceramicists, the Lou 
Harris study found only 316 to have been 
provided with fellowships. This is scarcely 
an abuse of federal funds or indicative 
that artists are giving up on the private art 
market in favor of government support. 
Many artists who have received Arts Endow- 
ment fellowships were able to produce 
significant works that they subsequently 
sold. Income taxes paid on the sales more 
than reimbursed the federal treasury for the 
original fellowships. 

Constructive criticism of the tax codes 
and the issue of federal support for the 
arts is all the more important and vital 
in this uncertain period of federal funding. 
As Chairman of the Congressional Arts Cau- 
cus, I will be holding hearings throughout 
the United States to try to determine some 
directions for the arts in the 1980s. I welcome 
any comments. 

In addition to chairing the Congressional 
Arts Caucus, Congressman Fred Richmond 
(Fourteenth District, New York) is 
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic 
Marketing, Consumer Relations, and Nu- 
trition and serves on the Agriculture, Small 
Business, and Joint Economic Committees. 


Will there be life after death on 

Forty-second Street at 

Times Square? 

Can a crumbling Cambridge 
courthouse throb to the beat of 
jazz workshops, instilling vitality 

where vandalism reigned? 

Is it possible for a new 
megastructure at Verba Buena, 
or the barren-looking barracks 

of a Fort Mason in 

San Francisco, to hold an army 

of lively arts? 







Such questions are more than geographi- 
cally specific. They bear on revitalizing 
decrepit urban areas anywhere througii the 
arts. Can theater, music, or dance enclaves 
flourish and ripple outward as cultural 
districts, contributing to urban life as a 
whole? Or are they, like the stereotypical 
artist, to be isolated in an alien world? 

For more than a decade we have treated 
arts ensembles as we treated cities. Just 
as we have built cities that breathe by day, 
snooze by night, so have we insulated the 
arts, planting arts parks removed from the 
teeming life of the cities that are their 
creative source. Our Los Angeles Music 
Centers, our Kennedy Centers might as well 
be boxed and ribboned for all their con- 
nection to urban life around them. 

Now, some say, the arts can be nexus and 
agent of city renewal; cultural districts can 
become integral to the conunercial life 
around them. "Good cultural planning, like 
good city planning, must be good economic 
planning," critic Wolf Von Eckardt told a 
conference on the subject. 

"We know that cultural activity — be it a 
street arts festival or a Lincoln center 
— can bring life and bustle to its 
surroundings. We have seen in many 
cities that the arts can stimulate 
business and create jobs — they can fill 
cafes and restaurants, attract new stores 
and perhaps even tourists and tourist 
hotels. But we cannot always count on 
it. We must be sure. Cultural planning 
is no job for dilettantes." 

Just what mix of economic and cultural 
activities can generate the creative environ- 
ment we once called city? Who are the 
professionals? What are the axioms? Where 
are the formulas for cultural-district 

I sit in an office two blocks west of what 
passes for a theater district in Boston. It is 
also two blocks south of the city's art 
galleries. I look out my window at a park, 
resplendent with rhododendrons, and a 
garage whose lumbering stone shell entombs 
! an inside so bleak that murders and rapes 
I are an ongoing drama there. A scant two 
; blocks away night life glows as mounted 
police trot past groomed tlicater-goers,. 
Daytimes, we office workers share sidewalk 
space witli teen prostitutes in jeans and 
the buffoons of the nearby bars. While the 
spicy aroma of Fine Thai Cuisine arouses 
our sense of smell, the army of panhandlers 
(including a sweet-faced ten-year-old 
begging for "streetcar fare home") assaults 
our sense of charity. In short, my district — 
any city district — is and must be a very 
small, unvarnished cross section of city life. 

"Near the theater district" or "by a 
cultural center" might describe my office 
to my friends. But how does one define — 
and then create and re-create — that district 
as a working, life-generating place? My 
problem with definition (not to mention 
my trouble with panhandlers and prosti- 
tutes) is nothing, of course, compared to 
that raised by New York's Forty-second 
Street at Times Scjuare. Call Forty-second 
Street a "cultural district" and some people 
would ask, "Which culture — arts or drug?" 
The vast, seemingly impervious area of 
which Times Square is crossroads is at once 
Vice City and .A.rts Emporium. No wonder 
plans for transforming its sordid blocks have 
failed for years. No wonder the current 
labors are the epitomy of a capital "P" plan 
made by a capital "A" agency with capital 
"D" developers. 

The laboring agencies — specifically, the 
New York State Urban Development 
Corporation (UDC) and the New York City 
Department of Planning — issued their most 
ambitious request for development pro- 
posals this summer. Trying to stop half a 
century of deterioration, various agencies 
have produced enough paper to roll all the 
joints peddled in Times Square, and to no 
avail. Now, as if acknowledging the era of 
Reaganomics, they have tried a new road, 
seeking private developers to do the job. 
Folks motivated by profit in this potentially 
profitable zone are asked to renovate old 
theaters and build a merchandise mart, new 
offices, hotels, residential and retail space. 
Given special statutory powers, including the 
power of condemnation over an area roughly 
twelve by two blocks wide, the planners 
would entice developers to create a cultural 
district from a near disaster zone. While 
maintaining control through design review, 
the planners want a place that is "bright 
and alive and diverse." New Year's Eve all 
year round — and clean and safe as well. 
On Forty-second Street between Seventh and 
Eighth .Avenues, "we will create standards," 
says UDC planner Jim Hunter. Piecemeal 
will not work, they insist. To take down one 
"sexational" sign means nothing in an 
area defined as ribald for more than half a 
century. "The worst block in town," as the 
New York Times put it in 1960. "A zone 
of eighteen adult bookstores, one topless bar 
and one massage parlor, not to mention 
thirteen movie theaters, head shops, weapon 
stores and beer outlets . . . aggressive street 
hustlers, pimps and panhandlers, drug 
dealers" is no easy place to patch. A zone 
using only one-third of its space needs as 
much help as it can get. Not only does it 
need John Portman's slated two-thousand- 
room Times Square Hotel, say planners, 
but it also needs office buildings to create a 
daytime population, a mart for the garment 
district, a revitalized Times Tower — in 
short, a cultural district. ,\t this point. 

whether private developers will bite and 
agree to a working partnership with the 
UDC and the city remains a giant question. 

However overwhelming the task of 
quenching the satanic fires of Times Square, 
it is matched by the trial of heating such 
cold-as-ice enviionments as the seventeen- 
year-old Los Angeles Music Center, the 
extreme of the 1960s isolate art malls. 
Washington's Kennedy Center, for all of 
what critic Robert Hughes calls its "bland 
brutalism," and New York's Lincoln Center, 
despite its fascistic remove, are urban 
thoroughfares compared to this island 
environment. Glitzy gold in its architecture 
by Welton Becket, anti-urban in its 
environmental attitudes, aristocratic and 
private in its administrative approach 
to the public, the place seems less a center 
for theater and music than a stage for the 
city's elite to shower their munificence from 
on high. 

The culture consumers of Los Angeles 
drive beneath the center, emerge up the 
escalators, share in an evening of theater or 

However overwhelming the task 
of quenching the satanic fires 
of Times Square, it is matched by 
the trial of heating such cold- 
as-ice environments as the 
seventeen-year-old Los Angeles 
Music Center, the extreme of 
the 1960s isolate art malls. 

music, ma\be have a drink or meal in one 
of three interior restaurants, sip away their 
$5,000 membership fee in the ersatz palatial 
splendor of the Founders' Room, and gaze 
in awe at the Grand Hall's chandelier 
(27,500 pieces of crystal). Then, rather than 
spill out onto the Bunker Hill neighbor- 
hood, they spin off. Neither sun nor stars 
can sever L..A.'ers from their automobiles, 
of course, but it is sad to witness creative 
vitality in the arts and torpid morbidity in 
the after-hours excitements nearby. One 
hears of plans for expansion, but more of 
this model will do nothing for the sur- 
roundings. No private business monies could 
mean anything here; only the largesse of 
an individual could aid further develop- 
ment. The initiative synonymous with urban 
life is ruled out by the brittle style of design 
and the indifferent style of those who run 
the institution it frames. 


Sitting in an office wliere liis 
l<id's pliotograpli sfiares space 
witii a Frani< Stella, Snedcof 
talks about wiiat tlie acre of arts 
will do for the Verba Buena 
center, and what sitting in a 
commercial center will do 
for the arts. 

Ironically, the Los Angeles Music Center 
sits a scant two-minute walk north from a 
billion-dollar mixecl-usc project that prom- 
ises to provide a S16 million museum, 
performance stage, and ballet theater. 
Although largely coin|)i isjng odiie buildings, 
Bunker Hill's California Center, on which 
construction is due to start in the fall of 
1982, will supply some retail space, three 
hundred condominiums, a 150-room 
hotel . . . and those cultural facilities. 

Specifics still ha\en't been settled, says 
George Davies, rcjiresentative of developer 
Cadillac Fairvicw, but it is certain that 
after sitting unused for more than twenty 
years, the 11.5-acre site, a cleared-out urban 
slum owned by the Connnunity Redevelop- 
ment Agency, will be brought back to 
life with a cultural corner. How will it 
relate to the Music Center? Developer 
Davies says the lifestyles of the two com- 
jilexes did not encourage much linkage 
in the plan. His million scjuare feet of offices 
will empty out at five o'clock, show time 
isn't until eight, so what can folks do in the 
meantime? .\ bit of city life would supply 
the pastimes: the bookstores, the drugstores, 
the shops that exist on our established 
streetcorners. Davies, recognizing that "the 
more activities you have downtown, the 
better," says the new complex "supports 
restaurants and so forth." Still, both the city 
and the centers have missed the chance to 
add to the ambience as well as the arts in 
this development. 

Once siniihirly hostile to urban — not to 
mention human — life. Verba Buena was the 
San Francisco urban renewal project 
natives loved to hate. Residents hated it 
through more than a decade of suits and 
countersuits filed in the more ruthless era of 
urban removal. Today, trying to find "a 
solution for all those years of anguish," the 
San Francisco Redevelopment Agency 
envisions for the 22.4-acre site a mixed-use 
]:)roject wliose arts elements suggest a 
cultural district. The project will provide 
"a place to stay, to shop, dine and be 
entertained," the agency prospectus declares. 
.Although the arts are not central to the 
S250 million project, developers Olympia 
and York of Toronto will get land bonuses 
for su])plying them. The man charged 
with inserting "the arts" is optimistic about 
the results. "People are looking for more 
than malls," says Harold Snedcof. "We will 
have an arts presence that will give an 
arts identity," insists the man who is cultural 
plaiHiing director for the agency. .Although 
the fraction of space for the arts — 50,000 
square feet or five percent of the collection 
of restaurants, offices, and fifteen-hundred- 
room hotel — hardly qualifies as an arts 
emporium, Snedcof says it suffices. The arts 
will be pivotal to the liveliness of the place. 

Sitting in an office where his kid's photo- 
graph shares space with a Frank Stella, 
Snedcof talks about what the acre of arts 
will do for the Verba Buena center, and 
what sitting in a commercial center will do 
for the arts — forcing artists to present 
themselves in a more outgoing way. The 
Oberlin Dance Collective, for instance, 
will not only have to appeal to fans like the 
Snedcofs, but "respond with outreach to 
the office worker, the con\entioner. The 
linkage really is going to challenge the arts 
in a lualthy way," he says. They will 
support and be supported. 

.Across the continent Richard W'einstein, 
another c ultural consultant to arts groups, 
agrees with the diagnosis: commercialization 
can be salubrious. Others may fear that 
making the arts generate business will make 
them degenerate artistically, but W'einstein 
carries his concern to more cosmic levels. 
Considering the place of the arts in a capi- 
talist society, W'einstein discovers silver 
linings that occlude the clouds. 

Where others find discomfort in nestling 
the arts in the megastructures that today's 
developments dictate, these cultural- 
district planners are sanguine. A fat Verba 
Buena brochure bristling with acronyms 
(like -A.R.E. — "arts, recreation, and enter- 
tainment"), lists of "100 artists" or "150 
programs," or skctc lies of "Cultural Candy 
Stripers" seems hard-edged folly in this field, 
but the developers find the San Francisco 
packaging inevitable and the New Vork 
mode viable. Sohency, says Wcinstein, is 
better tiian obsequiousness. A dollar made 
outright in tlie marketplace is no more 
demeaning than a dollar made by bowing 
and scraping to a donor. It is "a supportive 
relationship," says Snedcof. 

AVeinstein's prize example is a lone 
building that constitutes a cultural district: 
the Museum of Modern .Art (MO.M.A) , 
where a single project will bring S75 million 
to the arts institution. Using its air rights, 
MOM.A has created a complex that will sup- 
port its arts ambitions. W'einstein dismisses 
the controversy generated by a museum 
behaving with the avarice of a conventional 
developer with the view that it all comes 
down to new ways of funding arts institu- 
tions in impoverished times. He sees cultural- 
district planning as more productive than 
begging from charities, scurrying for grants, 
or making concessions to business givers. 
Charitable money trees wither and city plan- 
ning bodies founder; cultural-district 
planning helps both, he says. "There is a 
real question of whether it is now feasible 
to do redevelopment privately," says 
W'einstein. Why not then ally with art? 
"Cultural uses confer value on adjacent real 
estate," he says. Let the arts share in the 
aura — and value — they impart to the 
neighborhood. Develop a jjlan that allows 
special zoning and special taxes to contribute 
to the development, and a revitalized. 


art-worthy environment emerges. The alpha- 
bet of finance may change — this year UDAG 
or CBDG, next year who knows — but any 
maneuver open to realtors should be open 
to the arts. From a gambling tax in Fargo, 
North Dakota, to air rights in New York, a 
variety of financial devices exists; only 
the faint of heart and the falsely elitist can 
ignore them, Weinstein believes. 

"There is a dichotomy in America 
between the cultural and the commercial," 
Weinstein goes on with an elegance of 
phrase to match his demeanor. "It's con- 
venient for both sides because those involved 
in culture would still like the old patronage 
system in which the patron doles out the 
money like the Renaissance state while they 
retain their purity." This dichotomy allows 
the commercial sector freedom from ethical 
and moral constraints and makes the arts 
elitist, he continues. "That's not a healthy 
element in American society." Cultural 
institutions should not remain aloof from 
the marketplace; commercial ones should 
not be released from moral obligations. "The 
confusion of values has been destructive 
to American culture," he states, posing the 
crucial question: What is the difference 
between surviving on a fifty-two-story tower 
and resting on the beneficence of the oil 
well of a patron — a pressuring, demanding 
patron? Free from cultural bureaucracies 
for funding, independent of the need to trot 
after givers, the cultural institution as 
perceived by Weinstein mounts a gilded — 
if not ivory — tower through the cultural- 
district planning process into which it fits 
and the real estate business it uses. 

Weinstein' s prize example is a 
lone building that constitutes 
a cultural district: the Museum of 
Modern Art (MOMA), where 
a single project will bring $75 
million to the arts institution. 

"If I were building a cultural facility, 
I'd build it in a mall," the architect-cum- 
consultant goes on. Then the aesthetic 
issues become how to offer "classy, clever 
intellectual material" to the masses, versus 
pandering to popular taste. Such conflicts 
are up front and palatable. With a Norman 
Lear or Joseph Papp at the arts helm, arts 
events become more than merely palatable, 
he says, they lead to the democratization 
of the arts. 

Dial Fort Mason in San Francisco and you 
sense the reach of democratization in one 
"district." The activities — from a jam 
session to a housebuilding seminar, Irish 
country dancing to a course on carrying 
mace — can use up your dime before you 
exhaust the list of events that take place 
there. The long, somewhat bleak barracks 
beneath low-pitched roofs once served the 
armed forces. Asphalt crosshatches the 
13-acre, 130-year-old collection of three 
warehouses and three covered piers in a gray 


web. Yet somehow the shaggy, rumpled state 
of the place matches its freewheeling ten- 
ants. Moreover, a design competition has 
produced a plan that organizes the space 
without regimenting the activities inside. 

Partly because the Fort Mason Foundation 
gets the land rent-free from Uncle Sam 
(they are negotiating a ten-to-"hopefully"- 
twenty-year lease with the National Park 
Service), the economic issues of other arts 
districts don't press. But the Fort Mason 
Foundation has made economic self- 
sufficiency a prime goal. Tenants' fees of 
28 cents a square foot or S5 to SIO dollars an 
event cover expenses, and even on a quiet 
Monday, the sense of life is there. Gallery 
windows display a first-rate glass exhibition. 
The snack bar dispenses sprouts and health 
bread. And the children's art class prepares 
for its students. "I call there to find out 
what's happening in the arts," says one San 
Francisco octogenarian. "It's an arts district 
just like there are financial districts or 
retail districts," says executive director Marc 
Kasky. "San Francisco's Cultural Command- 
post," headlined the magazine Nczu Age. 

The fort Mnson Center, located on San Fran- 
cisco's waterjront between Fisherman's Wharf 
and the Golden Gate Bridge. Photograph 
courtesy of Fort Mason Foundation. 

Easel does double time for children's art class. 
Photograph by J'ictor Samuels. 

Kasky boasts of stability and self- 
sufficiency: "One hundred percent earned 
income," he says, "not grant-dependent." 
Staffed by nineteen full- and part-time 
people, seven of whom do repairs, the Fort 
Mason Foundation considers its task the 
care and maintenance of the facility: the 
publicity, not the production. That, says 
Kasky, keeps it a financially secure servant 
to its arts groups. "Our goal is to make the 
qualitv of the physical space as high as the 
organizations jiroducing it." The budget for 


that operation is SI million, three-fifths of 
which goes to improvements, the rest to 
operations. Fort Mason docs not depend on 
the commerce-creating power of culture. 
But if this grantless mecca for the arts is free 
of that tension, it is also more an isolatctl 
art park — however lively — than a city 
cultural district. The environs share neither 
the problems nor the urban vitality of 
another slightly seedy but spry enclave west 
of New York's Times Square on Forty- 
second Street. 

On the southern side of Forty-second 
Street between Ninth and Tenth .Avenues, 
Theatre Row has become an urban design 
parallel to the rags-to-riches story played 
out in its theaters. Fred Papert's pri\ate 
nonprofit 42nd Street Local Development 
Corporation has taken this strip of street and 
created a district that is unlike both the 
vast Fort Mason enclave and the megascale, 
megabuck, megaminded efforts of the 
city-state up the street at Times Square. 
Controlling the purse strings since 1977, 
Theatre Row has transformed tenements 
into theaters and restaurants for a burgeon- 
ing off -off Broadway. "On one square block 
between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, there 
is more theatrical life than on almost any 
other street," the New York Times noted 
last winter. ".\ theater street has become a 
theater district." 

West Forty-second Street prior to Theatre Row 
construction. Photograph courtesy of David 
Todd Associates, Architects. 

i ■ 





Coinph'tcd Phase I construction of Theatre 
Row, West Forty-second Street. Photograph 
courtesy of David Todd Associates, Architects. 


In its first SI.l million phase, Theatre 
Row transformed 46,000 square feet into 
seven theaters, from the Black Theatre 
Alliance to the Actors and Directors Lab. 
Now Theatre Row, Phase Two has taken the 
block between Dyer and Tenth Avenues for 
arts and arts-related uses in a S9.3 million 
project launched last fall. To developer 
Papert this cultural "district" is simply a 
city development device. The arts, he says, 
are an "anchor" for urban renewal. "We're 
developers," associate Patricia Zedalis puts 
it pragmatically in their office in the 
McGraw Building. 

Taking title to the properties in the 
derelict district for no cash subject to mort- 
gage payment and tax debts, the group chose 
to refurbish not one, but seven theaters to 
start. "Critical mass" is the terminology they 
use to describe the needed number for 
success. On the street, that means theater 
cozying up to theater or to the airline 
terminal recycled by architects Hardy 
Holzman and Pfeiffer into a television 
studio, so that a zone, not just street 
improvements, results. Nonprofit status 
brought the tax abatements that made this 
development work; UDAG and Arts Endow- 
ment grants helped. Most of all, say the 
developers, grappling with the entire block, 
not just a single structure, did the job. The 
arts create a zone, not just lonely outposts 
of culture; Theatre Row's success stems from 
being a pioneer village, not just the 
lonely pioneer. 

A lifestyle apart from UDC's carpeted 
quarters, Papert's 42nd Street Local 
Development Corporation boasts 
government-green linoleum on the floor 
and before-and-after photos on the 
makeshift-looking walls. But the transition 
on the street is visible and, on summer 
nights, impressive. "The arts," says Zedalis, 
"are a terrific determinant to any area. One 
of the keys to success between the arts and 
the city is the spin-off: restaurants, shops, 
etc. that pay the rent." Nonetheless, Zedalis 
likens their five-year-old nonprofit agency to 
any other developer: "The arts part is not 
the most important thing," she insists. "We 
happen to be in theaters, and we're putting 
in public art, like a neon .Antonakis." But 
it's a bottom-line approach. "We are 
basically a developer who thinks the arts 
make good economic sense." 

In an immediate sense, sometimes they do 
and sometimes they don't. A rave show 
crowds the streets, jams the restaurants, sets 
the cash registers to ringing; a flop, and the 
district is dead. Right now the action is 
apparent on the street; the trick is to keep 
up the action as the theater block grows 
between Ninth and Tenth Avenues. 

The courthouse in East Cambridge rings 
with no dancing feet or declaiming actors. 
As David Kronberg, the man who envisions 
both, unlocks its door, you pause a moment 

In Cambridge, as in all the 
cultural districts cited, the mix of 
God and Mammon — of the 
spiritual and the material — 
seems almost as much prayer 
as promise. 

to let the blackness recede into dimness 
before carefully sidestepping the debris. The 
neglected building, a patchwork masterpiece 
begun by Charles Bulfinch, is about to 
undergo the recycling that will not only 
help it survive architecturally but will also 
create an arts-enriched environment for the 
neighborhood of worn old homes fending 
off a blighted industrial zone. 

^V'ith the courthouse as centerpiece, archi- 
tect and de\ eloper Graham Gund has 
adapted the old building and its linking 
structures into a S6.8 million project with 
offices and arts spaces. Moving through 
the still-barren environs, Kronberg defines 

In Cambridge, as in all the cultural 
districts cited, the mix of God and Mammon 
— of the spiritual and the material — seems 
almost as much prayer as promise. Can what 
seem to be the insurmountable problems of 
Forty-second Street be overcome? Will 
East Cambridge, Verba Buena, or Fort 
Mason really become flourishing urban 
encla\es? Can cultural districts ripple out- 
ward, injecting new life in great .American 
cities? It seems almost too much to expect. 
One more "final" solution to aging metrop- 
olises and ailing arts, one more in a 
decade-long parade of panaceas that deliver 
so little. And yet, today's notions of cultural 
planning do seem so much more rounded 
that only a cynic would be unwilling to stop 
and peer dow-n the road for at least a while 
to witness this Cultural Coming. 

Jane Holtz Kay is the author of Lost Boston. 
She writes on architecture and urban design 
for the Christian Science Monitor and has 
contributed to the Xation. 

the features of the Cambridge Multicultural 
Arts Center in the empty air — the mall, the 
space for arts groups, the courtroom made 
into a theater — then explains how the 
offices for lawyers and small businesses make 
this complex financially viable. 

The four-year-old Bulfinch Square project 
began not with a bulldozer or some grand 
master plan but with an empty building, a 
multicultural arts organization, and a 
connnunity newspaper to gain acceptance 
from the Portuguese neighborhood. It has 
grown to become part of a 40-acre East 
Cambridge riverfront development scheme 
that includes restoring the nearby Lechmere 
Canal for a marina. In whatever way the 
enterprise expands, its developers reckon the 
arts input will make it both more meaning- 
ful and more marketable. The financial 
plan, in which the developer offers a 
1250, 000 operating endowment for the arts 
as a challenge to other contributions and the 
city offers a tax concession, boosts that 
goal: but arrangements stem from the value 
all parties put on the arts in the built 

Rendering of the planned Lechmere Canal 
development. Drawing by Dennis Carlone. 









Art is at one and the same time the most 
private and the most public of activities; 
the proverbial self-absorptif:)n of creativity is 
usually found together with an immersion 
in shared aspects of art — from the museum 
exhibition, to the patrons and critics, to the 
coterie of mutually respectful and supportive 
artists. Clearly, with most artists wanting 
both private space and public access, the city 
is ideal. Indeed, the majority of museums, 
galleries, art schools, and art lovers are 
to be found in cities. New York, Los Angeles, 
and Chicago can claim international impor- 
tance as artistic and cultural centers, and 
the smaller cities of Boston, Minneapolis, 
Seattle, and .Atlanta support vital and 
well-cstablislicd arts programs and facilities. 

Large or small, cities afford the artist 
inspiration, opportunity, and the stimula- 
tion of life in an arts communitv. 


There's a catch, of course. Our cities may 
offer the greatest artistic resources in the 
country, but they are also the most expensive 
places to live, with housing costs especially 
high. For most artists, who need not only a 
place to live but also a place to work, the 
cost of housing is a particular problem. 
On their low-to-moderate, typically erratic 
incomes, most artists can barely afford to 
maintain one space, let alone separate 
places to live and work. 

Over the years, artists and their advocates 
have attacked the money problem from 
various angles to enable artists to stay in the 
cities. For a long time, artists simply sought 
out buildings with low rents, regardless of 
zoning status — residential, commercial, or 
industrial — and they both lived and worked 
there. Usually such buildings were com- 
mercial lofts or warehouses found in down- 
town areas. Endowed with large floor areas, 
high ceilings, many and high windows 
(often skylights) , load-bearing floors, and 
sometimes capacious elevators, these 
buildings are big enough to accommodate 
Ijoth living and working arrangements, 
and their openness permits them to be 
subdivided and finished according to indi- 
\ idual needs. Although it was illegal to 
H\e in commercial buildings, artists did so 
out of financial necessity — often through 
the cooperation of sympathetic (and cash- 
poor) landlords and city policies of 
benign neglect. 

Increasingly, artists, landlords, and city 
officials alike became dissatisfied with the 
situation. For artists, it was the discomfort, 
lack of safety, tremendous insecurity, and 
and inability to exert their voting and other 
civil rights that pushed them to action. 
City officials were concerned about the 
declining tax base, and neither landlords nor 
officials wanted to be held responsible for 
such calamities as fires in buildings not up 
to residential code requirements. 

.\s the plight of the artist began to be 
exposed, changing the zoning laws to allow 
residence and relaxing strict building codes 
combined to offer a solution that seemed to 
enable artists to keep their inexpensive 
live-work space. So for several years, effecting 
zoning changes was the crusade and battle 
cry of artists and arts advocates throughout 
the country — with many apparent victories. 
Between 1964 and 1971, a series of amend- 
ments to New York's Multiple Dwelling Law 
I legitimized residency for certified artists in 
I SoHo lofts. In 1974 the city of Los Angeles 
passed an ordinance allowing the creation of 
"commercial and artcraft districts" through 

Our cities may offer ttie greatest 
artistic resources in tfie country, 
but tfiey are also the most 
expensive places to live, with 
housing costs especially high. 

petition by the owners and tenants of the 
proposed districts. Four years later San 
Francisco became the first city in the country 
to revise its zoning code to permit "dwelling 
units integrated with the working space of 
artists" in all city districts. In 1979, Cali- 
fornia passed Senate Bill 812, authorizing 
counties and cities to adopt alternative 
building standards for converting commer- 
cial and industrial buildings into joint living 
and working quarters. In so doing, it 
formally recognized that resident artists 
not only contribute to the cultural life of the 
city but also help improve and revitalize 
areas that have become physically and 
economically depressed. 

Around the same time, Seattle amended 
its zoning provisions to allow what it calls 
"studio dwellings" in all business zones and 
two-year residential permits in industrial 
and manufacturing zones. In Berkeley, 
California, artists are now free to live and 
work in industrial and commercial buildings 
and may obtain home-occupation use per- 
mits for residential areas. Minneapolis 

As the plight of the artists began 
to be exposed, changing the 
zoning laws to allow residence 
and relaxing strict building 
codes combined to offer a 
solution that seemed to enable 
artists to keep their inexpen- 
sive live-work space. 

artists can set up residence in any but the 
heaviest manufacturing districts, and in 
Boston live-work is possible with a special 
three-year use permit. 

But even l)elore the dust Irom the zoning 
battles had settled, it was clear that zoning 
changes, although essential, were not a 
perfect solution to the basic economic 
problem. In SoHo artists had, in fact, 
brought on the problem's biggest symptom, 

Gentrification is the transformation of a 
neighborhood from inexpensive and 
undesirable to chic and middle class as a 
direct result of the neighborhood's physical 
and cultural revival by artist-pioneers. The 
presence of artists in an area attracts 
restaurants, shops, galleries, and finally 
visitors who wish to live there too — driving 
prices up and low-income artists out. The 
phenomenon was not unique to SoHo; it 
had occurred throughout the world for 
centuries, including the Montmartre section 
of Paris in the 1800s and not too long ago 
the West Village in New York City. The 
difference, which made SoHo such a cause 
celebre in the annals of artist housing, 
was that for the first time artists were living 
as well as working in the district legally, 
and the district was intended just for them. 

At first gentrification seemed the result 
merely of a failure in a certification program 
designed by the city to ensure that people 
living in SoHo were, in fact, artists. Enforce- 
ment had been poor, and friends and 
patrons of artists who wanted to live in the 
area got "certified" by borrowing port- 
folios. Other cities, therefore, pursued 
zoning for artists with a view to discouraging 
rapid gentrification; they diluted the loft 
market by permitting residential use 
throughout several areas rather than in one 
or two well-defined neighborhoods. Seattle 
required potential tenants to sign an 
affidavit confirming that they were artists — 
a move that, according to planner Sandy 
Hornick, wouldn't deter anyone in New 
York from masquerading as an artist. 

But gentrification continued to occur, and 
at even faster rates than in SoHo. Artists 
who did have sjiace in legal districts were 
unable to bring them up to code and before 
long could not afford to keep up with rent 
increases. In cities where extensive studies 
had been undertaken to identify artists, their 
housing needs, and potential areas in which 
they could live and work, and where zoning 
and building codes had been modified, 
artists were still having troulile finding and 
holding on to space they could afford. 


It is now apparent that the problem and 
its solution are one and the same: money. 
Money to allow artists to own, and therefore 
have control over, their spaces — regardless 
of what happens to values around them. 
It's a conclusion that took a bit of time 
coming round to: "Hundreds of thousands 
in gram money has been expended," says 
Daniel (^orrigan, executive director of 
Boston's Artists Foundation, "and how many 
artists have housing as a result? Zero." Many 
researchers are now saying "if only we had 
gone out and helped artists buy housing 

According to Vivian Kahn of Kahn/ 
Mortimer '.Associates of Seattle, "we are in 
worse shape than ever" economically. 
Interest rates are prohibitive, of course, 
and lenders are unfamiliar with the idea of 
a development for artists. The new admin- 
istration has slashed public housing money, 
putting the 312 program at zero funding 
("the biggest blow," in Kahn's words) and 
reducing housing block grant money. 
Section 8 housing, everyone seems to con- 
cur, never was very useful. 

In fact, the notion of subsidized housing 
projects for artists is losing ground because 
of the host of problems — both in implica- 
tion and implementation — it raises. Many 
claim that rehabilitating and renting out 
space to artists at low rates is simply ghetto- 
izing and that the supporting agency or 
foundation is inevitably placed in the posi- 
tion of landlord-antagonist to its tenants. 
Then there is the difficulty of ascertaining 
)ust who is an artist. The inadequacy of 
criteria such as income from art, shows, 
awards and credits, and scholarly degrees is 
readily apparent. Many artists feel that any 
attempt at definition and certification as a 
basis for granting aid constitutes censorship 
and an invasion of privacy. And SoHo has 
illustrated the near impossibility of enforcing 
a (ertification program on a districtwide 

But the central issue is whether artists — 
the "poor by choice" as they arc often 
called — should be singled out as a group in 
need of subsidizing. Doing so automatically 
marks them as a group to be dealt with 
politically, on a public policy level, by 
plating them side by side with all other low- 
income people in need of housing: the 
elderly, the indigent, the disabled, the 
uneducated. The cjuestions raised by such a 
status are many and complicated. Would 
policy favoring artists' housing needs be a 
form of discriminatory class legislation? 
What about the other poor and, for that 
matter, what about others who both li\e and 

In fact, the notion of subsidized 
liousing projects for artists is 
iosing ground because of tfie 
host of problems — both in 
implication and implementation 
— it raises. 

work in one place? What effect does support- 
ing artists in a middle-class lifestyle have 
on their productivity? Might subsidizing 
artist housing lower the prestige of artists in 
society, and thereby their ability to com- 
mand higher wages and prices for tlicir woik? 

With the shift in goals from supported 
housing projects to artists' ownership has 
come an important shift in psychology. 
Instead of presenting themselves as different 
and needy, many artists are now learning 
the advantages of presenting themselves as 
coyiventional, or just like everyone else, 
and Jieeded, in that they contribute signif- 
icantly to the economy. This is an essential 
first step in solving the money problem. 

"Artists are small-business people," says 
Kahn, "and have to start acting that way." 
They need to convert what they have 
(equipment, finished work) and what they 
do into terms a lender can understand 
and get more comfortable with banks and 
what they do. Accountants and lawyers 
are gradually getting more familiar with 
artists and can be a big help, but as Kahn 
says, "a banker is the only consultant you 
don't have to pay." 

With the shift in goals from 
supported housing projects to 
artists' ownership has come 
an important shift in psychology. 

As small-business people, artists may be 
able to get Small Business .\dministration 
assistance for the work portion of live-work 
space. As artists, they should be able to 
attract private investment from developers 
and merchants who recognize the drawing 
l^otcntial of having artists in the neighbor- 
hood and who recognize that keeping the 
artists there is in their best interest. 
Succeeding in this economic realm requires 
that artists become promoters of the arts. 
Particularly important is developing an 
awareness at the operating level of state and 
nuinicipal govcrmncnts of the economic as 
well as the cultural benefits of an arts 
comnuuiity. Local go\ernment then becomes 
a powerful means of passing interest and 
enthusiasm on to the business community. 

This approach can be thought of as 
developing a "policy intent": a commitment 
to mi idea rather than an official policy 
that invariably means political hassles. 
Policy intent is the all-important ground- 
work that can smooth the way for proposals 
directed at artists' equity. It can tip the 
scale in a bank's or developer's decision to 
fund an artists' conversion project. It can 
serve as the catalyst for mixed-use projects 
similar to Verba Buena Center in San 
Francisco, where arts and business will be 
integrated for their mutual benefit through 
an artist-inresidence program. Many 
states have special mortgage money for low- 
income persons; states can follow through 
on their policy intent by setting aside a 
certain number of those low-interest mort- 
gages for artists who qualify. 

The concept of setting aside can even be 
applied to vacant public buildings such as 
olcl schools or libraries. Frequently, smaller, 
older buildings are of least interest to 
developers but of greatest interest to artists. 
The Artists Foundation in Boston is work- 
ing to get the local government to set these 
white elephants aside for artists — to give 
them to the Foundation so they can be sold 
to artists for the costs of development. Tlie 
( ity benefits by having the buildings both 
improved and back on its tax rolls. 

The end result of a well-implemented 
policy intent must be that artists will be 
"rewoven into the fabric of daily life," as 
Verba Buena promoters phrased it. They will 
constitute a natural segment of community 
demographics and restore, as Richard 
Mayer of San Francisco Artists' Equity put 
it, "the ecology" of cities. In short, they wil 
become mainstream. The necessary impli- 
cation of this and the whole push for 
ownership is that, for a time anyway, artists' 


housing efforts will center on the "haves" 
— those artists who have either a steady 
income for paying a mortgage or some down- 
payment money — rather than the "have- 
nots." Everywhere the trend is "away from 
the street artist toward the professional 
artist who has some money to put into buy- 
ing and rehabilitating a space," says Jim 
Swarthout of Great Expectations, developers 
of the Hamm's Brewery project in San 
Francisco. He and others agree that artists 
must become more worldly-wise, more 
savvy about business and finance, and more 
willing to go through conventional channels. 
As they become more sophisticated, artists 
will increasingly begin piuting together 
projects on their own and creating the 
apparatus they need to support those proj- 
ects. .Already ideas like a national coop- 
erative bank for artists are being discussed. 

The end result of a well- 
implemented policy intent must 
be that artists will be "rewoven 
into the fabric of daily life," 
as Verba Buena promoters 
phrased it. 

Although such an approach may seem 
elitist and neglectful of the serious artist 
without funds, the feeling is that one must 
start somewhere. Ownership may be the 
only answer, and at this time the only 

realistic way to achieve it is to deal with 
artists who have money. Ultimately, how- 
ever, all artists will benefit and the chances 
of others' owning their own spaces will be 
improved. The early projects undertaken 
with "substantial" artists will serve as models 
throughout the country and help make 
banks, foundations, and private investors 
view lending money to artists as a normal 
part of their business. Residents, merchants, 
and city officials will see the benefits of 
having artists in the community and will 
develop employment opportunities, tax 
breaks, and other incentives to attract artists 
to live and work in their towns. And ideally, 
the artists themselves who pioneered owner- 
ship will put some of their experience, 
perhaps some of their money, to work help- 
ing other artists achieve the goal of their 
own live-work space. 

The Trend Toward Ownership: Cases in Point 

Not surprisingly, a survey of artists' liousing projects around tine 

country reveals that the most successful are those owned 
and run by artists themselves. Although projects such as Piano 

Craft Guild in Boston, Goodman Building in San Francisco, 

and IVIanhattan Plaza and Westbeth in New York have provided 

low-cost housing to artists, all have had and continue to have 

problems. These problems range from cramped and inappropriately 

finished space for working artists to fast-rising rents, artists' 
inability to alter space according to individual needs, quarrels with 

financial and management decisions, and conflicts over the 

allocation of space and building policies. Goodman Building, after 

more than seventy-five years as a residential hotel with studios 

for artists and almost thirty years as an all-artist residence, is 

fighting the city redevelopment agency for its very life. 

.At the heart of each of these problems 
is the issue of control. Xo matter how 
many positive aspects a project might have, 
it takes only one decision — from Piano 
Craft management's refusal to let tenants 
alter their space, to San Francisco's order 
to vacate the Goodman Building — to bring 

home to tenants the realization that 
someone else is defining the parameters 
of how, and indeed where, they should live. 

The problems of artists who live in 
low-cost or subsidized housing projects are 
not, of course, much different from the 
problems of any nonartist tenant, any- 

where. But artists do have special space 
requirements, and the kinds of buildings 
that can meet these requirements are at a 
premium. Ownership would both solve 
their typical tenant problems and ensure 
them the space they need to live and work. 


Westbeth/New York City 

Developed in 1967, Westbeth was the first, and remains the largest, 

housing project exclusively for artists. The former Bell Telephone 

Laboratories building in Manhattan's now-fashionable West Village, 

Westbeth is a communitylike complex of apartments, studios, 

galleries, meeting rooms, and shops designed by architect 

Richard Meier. The building contains 383 well-detailed and highly 

finished units averaging 800 square feet each, and 100,000 

square feet of commercial space. 

The amount of commercial space was 
one cause of management and financial 
problems that several times brought 
Westbeth to the brink of bankruptcy, 
particularly in the early days of the proj- 
ect. Commercial space throughout Man- 
hattan was relatively cheap at the time and, 
with demand lagging, much of W'estbeth's 
space remained unoccupied. Since the 
intent of the (le\clopers had been to 
subsidize residential artists' rent with 
commercial rents, they had no alternative 
but to raise residential rents to make up 
the difference. Tenants, who had almost 
no in\olvement in the de\elopment 
process and who had little conception of 
the development and maintenance costs of 
such a building, were upset. 

Although Westbeth tenants still 
believe that rents are too high, in urban 
real estate terms they are low for any good 

city neighborhood and extremely low for 
New York: rents range from S210 for an 
efficiency to .S.^89 for a ihrcc-bcdroom 
apartment; stutlio space is rented sepa- 
lately, and a darkroom, for example, can 
be rented for 84.') a month. 

Despite new management that has 
improved W'estbeth's o\eralI financial pic- 
ture, the project continues to have finan- 
cial difficidties; it has been unable to pay 
the principal on the forty-year, three 
percent mortgage recei\ed from FHA. Over 
the fourteen \ears of \Vestbeth's existence, 
financial problems ha\e been such that the 
Ka|)lan Foiuidation, \vhich matched 
National Kndowment for the Arts money 
of .SI million to buv the building, would 
be unlikely to undertake a project like 
Westbeth again. 

Yet for all its difficulties — including 
internal conflicts o\er space among tenants 
at different income lc\els — Westbeth must 

at least in some ways be regarded as a 
success. Many residents feel that without 
\Vestbeth they would ne\er have been 
able to remain in Manhattan; the six-to- 
eight-year waiting list for space suggests 
that many New York artists see AVestbeth 
as an important means of supj^ort. 
Westbeth has been fully occupied and has 
somehow stayed afloat for nearly fifteen 
years — a record almost surprising for a 
project developed exclusively by nonprofit 
agencies in an idealistic era. .\nd it appears 
that, finallv. its tenacity will pay off, as 
the \Vest \'illage area increasingly becomes 
one of the highest valued and most 
improved neighborhoods in Manhattan 

IVestbeth's apartments arc designed with 
modular iloset units on casters, for use 
as storage, partitions, and supports ]or 
sleeping lofts. Photograph by Ezra Stoller. 



Westbeth, a former Bell Laboratories 
buildiug in Greenwich Village redesigned 
for artist housing by Richard Meier. 
Photograph by Ezra Stoller. 


Piano Craft Guild/ Boston 

Piano Craft Guild, located in the old Chickering piano factory in 

Boston's South End, is an example of a private, for-profit 

venture to subsidize housing for artists. The historic building was 

bought by architect Simeon Bruner, and city planner Robert Gelardin 

when the now-desirable neighborhood was in economic and 

physical ruin. Convinced that they would not be able to obtain 

conventional financing, the developers sought and acquired 

a mortgage from the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency 

(IVII-iFA), which also provides rent subsidies. As part of the 

paci<age, IVII-IFA required that units be distributed among occupants 

with different income levels: twenty-five percent were to be for 

low-income tenants, fifty percent for moderate-income tenants, and 

the remaining twenty-five percent were to be leased 

at market rates. 

The large building was well suited to 
use by artists, with high ceilings, large 
windows and doors, load-bearing floors, 
freight elevators, and heavy-duty electrical 
service. During rehabilitation, some large 
spaces and storage were retained, and a 
gallery area was created, although the 
majority of the residential spaces are 
relatively small. Moreo\er, the approach 
to rehabilitation was similar to that of 
HUD's section 8 program, which meant 

that a sizable proportion of construction 
money went into kitchens and baths. The 
ultrafmishing and above-average size of 
these facilities were inappropriate for 
artists, who generally prefer to finish space 
according to their own needs and to keep 
construction costs — and therefore rents — 
to a minimum. 

Although occupancy of Piano Craft's 
174 units has been high since it opened, 
both management and artists have had 

their problems. Despite a low-interest mort- 
gage, the project has verged on bank- 
ruptcy for se\eral years. Tenants are so 
highly restricted as to the nature of 
decoration and alteration permitted that 
many artists have expressed unwillingness 
to live in the building. They complain 
that management ])olicics and the owner- 
ship structure in general make them 
acutely aware that, although the building is 
especially for artists, it is far from their own. 

Pelican Bay and Rhino Condo/ Seattle 

Seattle is one of the cities whose arts community has worked hard 

at enacting legislation and offering sympathetic guidance in 

support of artist housing. Despite these efforts, the number of artist 

housing projects is small. Two very different projects with 

similarly arcane names exemplify the range of artist housing in 

Seattle: Pelican Bay Co-op (which is not a cooperative) and 

Rhino Condo (which is not a condominium). 


Both Pelican Ray and Rhino Condo are 
straight rentals. Pelican Bay is Seattle's 
oldest artist housing project, and is 
regarded by many artists as the most 
desirable place to live. It was begun twelve 
years ago when muralist Don Barre 

Pelican Bay, Seattle's oldest artist housing 
project, leases ground-floor stores to 
arts-related enterprises that attract neigh- 
borhood residents. Photograph by 
Caryni Bee. 

approached the owners of a small, eighteen- 
unit apartment building in the residential 
Capital Hill neighborhood with a pro- 
posal to maintain the building for rental 
to artists and manage the building on 
behalf of the landlords. .Accordingly, Barre 

Studio space in Seattle's Rhino Condo, 
where occupatits renew their temporary 
living permits every two years in 
accordance luith a city ordinance. 
Photograph by Carmi Bee. 

now .screens all |)rosi)ccti\e tenants, 
"certifies" their commitment as working 
artists, and sees to their adherence to the 
rules of the building, which include 
month-to-month tenancies, an agreement 
to improve the space during their tenan- 
cies and to maintain it in a condition that 
shows no wear and tear when they move 
out. Barre approves every change or 
improvement made to the apartments. 

The con\entional one- and two- 
bedroom apartments with finished li\ing 
rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and baths 
maintain very low rents by means of these 
self-maintenance devices. The smaller 
units tend to be occupied by writers and 
poets, the larger by visual artists. Pelican 
Bay also comprises six storefronts, which 
can be rented separately, at considerably 
greater cost than the ai)artmcnts, for 
studio space. One storefront is a gallery 
that can be used and is operated by artists 
in the building on a rotating basis. Its 
cost is covered by residential rents. 

Several years ago for a brief time the 
tenants became interested in purchasing 
the building; today they cannot afford to 
do so and, Barre says, are not interested. 
As the neighborhood becomes an increas- 
ingly desirable residential area, land 
values are climbing sharply. The landlord 
owns a health care facility on an adjoin- 
ing lot and would only be willing to sell 
both land parcels together. .And as the 
landlord would be willing to sell should an 
attractive offer be made, despite Pelican 
Bay's twelve-year success story offering 
housing to artists at low rents, residents 
remain at the mercy of their month-to- 
month tenancies. 

Pelican Bay was the first artists' resi- 
dence in Seattle; Rhino Condo was the first 
to be formed, four years ago, to take 
advantage of a new city ordinance enabling 
artists to live and work in industrial areas 
by obtaining renewable temporary permits. 

Rhino Condo was initiated when 
four artists got together to obtain the 
temporary use permit and negotiate a 
three-year lease for one floor of a four- 
story building housing a commercial 
woodworking business and a furniture 
warehouse. Subseciuently, the artist tenants 
spent approximately $4,000 of their own 
money to divide the 15,000-square-foot 
space into seven roughly partitioned units. 
Each unit has a kitchen; however, all 
share a bath. Despite their investment and 
time spent on construction under guide- 
lines provided initially by the city's build- 
ing department, the space still does not 
meet code requirements; and they have 
just signed a second three-year lease, at 
terms substantially higher than the first. 

Although Rhino Condo is not situated 
in an area subject to gentrification, as is 
Pelican Bay, the artist residents regard 
their habitation as temporary. The two- 
vear renewable living permits, building 
code \agaries, and leases remind them 
that they, too, are tenants at someone 
else's will. 


Project Artaud/San Francisco 

Project Artaud is frequently cited as tine most successful artist 

housing project in the country. Its success is founded on the 

commitment and spirit of the people who live and work there — a 

commitment and spirit that enabled the project to take shape 

in the first place and that remains the guiding force behind 

the building. 

Artists began venting space in the 
enormous American Can Company ware- 
house in San Francisco's south-of-Market 
Street area in 1972. After a fire in a 
cooperative gallery there, artists decided to 
put the insurance money toward the 
purchase of the building. They set up a 
nonprofit corporation to be the "owner," 
made a S30,()00 down payment that 
guaranteed the depositors no return or 
special interest in the building, secured 
a bank mortgage, and, with the help of the 
citv's Mission Housing agency, obtained 
a .S;!0(),000, straight six percent interest 
building impro\ement loan to bring the 
building into line with residential code 

The resiilents of the building are 
members of the corporation and pay rent 
in the form of monthly dues to cover 
mortgage payments and maintenance: 
17 cents a square foot (for units ranging 
from 400 to 2„500 square feet), plus $37 
per adult inhabitant. Utilities are 
calculated on a point system based on 
energy usage of different types of appli. 
ances and ecjuipment. Three paid officers 
manage the day-to-day operation of the 

The business of the corporation is 
managed by officers elected from among 
the residents. Decisions that affect the 
building as a whole — such as a major 
repair or physical improvement — are made 
by general vote, or "building ballot." 
Project .Artaud comprises eighty units in 
seven wings, and each wing sets policies 
on residence requirements and regulates 
apartment changeover in its own way. For 
example, some wings allow musicians, 
writers, and dancers; others are strictly 
for visual artists, .\lthough all residents 
are forbidden to make a profit from 

Project Artaud: housing for nearly one 
hundred San Francisco artists in a former 
American Can Company building. 
Photograf)h by Carmi Bee. 

fixtures (Project .\rtaud residents finish 
their own spaces) to pre\ent unit costs 
from spiraling with each successive 
residencv, some wings allow depreciation 
or a charge of ten percent for labor; 
others do not. 

The residents can only be described 
as content. Given that Project .Artaud 
is a simple place, with spaces that many 
would describe as raw and e\ en crude, 
the source of their contentment is clear: 
although their dues do not gi\e residents 
the financial equity they would obtain 
from investing in a cooperati\ely owned 
building, they do have the benefits of 
true participatory management — a sort of 
mini-democracy that allows residents to 
create and have control o\er their 
environment and lifestvle. 



86 South Street/ Boston 

In the spring of 1979, the three-year conditional use permit allowing 
artists to live and work in 86 South Street was about to expire. 

The building owner, who ran a hardware store on the ground floor, 
was thinking of selling. Property values in the historic Leather 

District were rising, and his brick building there had a tax obligation 
and need for improvements that he could not meet. 

At the same time, the Boston Artists 
Foundation was looking for a Ijuilding to 
hiiv as the pilot project of its Art Space 
(le\elopment program. After an exhaustive 
survey and comparison of buildings on 
the market, the Foundation identified 86 
South Street as being almost ideal for its 
program objecti\cs: the tenants were 
artists interested in remaining in the 
building; the owner was anxious to sell but 
to remain a tenant himself; the relation- 
ship between owner and tenants was 
positive and strong; and the cost of the 
building was not excessive. The Founda- 
tion contacted the artists, who agreed that 
the Foundation would act as de\eloper 
of the building on their behalf, handling 
negotiations between buyer and seller, 
securing mortgage antl construction 
financing, obtaining zoning variances. 

In little more than a year, construction 
was complete and the eight studio-living 
loft spaces were fully occupied by their new 
artist-owners. The former owner was 
given a five-year renewable lease for the 
ground floor, where he continues to 
operate his hardware store. -All parties, it 
seems, are happy with the outcome. 

Even more happy, perhaps, are the 
developers themselves, who see 86 South 
Street as a model for the development of 
artists' housing in the future. Eighty-six 
South Street was completely financed by 
conventional sources — no public subsidies, 
no public financing incenti\cs, no special 
legislative tax arrangements. The artists 
made down pavments, and a local savings 
bank, after re\ iewing the development 
package and the artists' financial state- 
ments, granted end-term mortgages for the 
$37,.500 units. 

Number 86, far right, is an artist -orrned 
Condominium. Piiotograph b\ S. B.Walton. 

C^onstruction financing for the loft 
condominiums was obtained from Boston's 
largest commercial bank, whose decision 
to finance the project was based on a 
thorough anahsis not only of the costs but 
also of the zoning situation, neighborhood, 
future demand, and renovation plans. 
The bank's appro\al was founded in large 
part on the fact that all units had been 
prcpurchased, with mortgages committed, 
and that the remaining commercial space 
(the groimd-floor storefront) was to 
have the stable occupancy of the former 

In a time of decreasing and perhaps 
disappearing public housing subsidies and 
low-interest loans, the 86 South Street 
development is an important achievement 
in the struggle for appropriate, low-cost 
housing for artists. It suggests that a 
private, nonprofit organization such as 
the .'Artists Foundation can develop artists' 
housing in a competitive real estate 
market and that low-income artists can 
indeed obtain and own legal, affordable 
live-work space. 


130 West Twenty-sixth Street/ New York City 

The six-story building at 130 West Twenty-sixtli Street in the 

Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan is about to become 

an artist-owned cooperative. Artists had been living and working 

there when, about five years ago, the city took the building 

over from their landlord for default of taxes. With the help of a local 

planning board, the artists living there at the time were able 
to get the building put on "auction hold" and to enter a sweat equity 
program in which their rehabilitation efforts on the building 

would go toward its purchase. 

The city worked with tlie artists to put 
together a financial package. Terms of 
the sale, which after four years of negoti- 
ation will close in a few months, are a 
SSO.OOO down payment toward a total 
purchase price of $120,000, with a city- 
guaranteed mortgage at seven and one-half 
percent for twelve years (committed 
several years ago, when negotiations 

The building is designed to have one 
1 ,900-scjuare-foot unit on each floor and 
to meet the financial limitations of the 
low-to-moderate-income artist. Salaries of 
pr()s])cctive owners a\cragc S8,000 to 
.'§10,000, with the highest at .$22,000. The 
prospective ow^ners hope to keep monthly 
mortgage and maintenance charges below 
.?450 and to split the costs outright or 
through a short-term loan for any extra- 
ordinary costs. ("Our credit is very good," 
emphasized one officer.) 

.Although much smaller than Project 
.\rtaud, 130 West Twenty-sixth .Street bears 
some similarities. .-Ml interior work has 
been executed by the residents of the build- 
ing. There is a membership board, with 
elected officers, and each member has a vote 
on building matters. .Although artists are 
certified bv the city's Department for 
Cultural .Affairs instead of by the residents 
themselves, their concern for certification 
reflects a similar wariness of gentrification 
and cominitment to maintaining the 
building as low-cost housing for artists 
only. The membership board plans to 
vote on a ceiling for the resale price of 

jane Robbiiis is a freelance writer and 
president of Prospect Management, Inc., a 
Winchester, Massachusett.s, consulting firm 
specializing in corporate communications. 
She is the author of Classical Dance: The 
Balletgoer's Guide to Technique and 

units and fixtures to discourage sale for 
profit, and to give the co-op the first option 
to buy. They believe that keeping the 
prices of all units in line with each other 
also prevents any feelings of unfairness 
and resentment among residents. 

The artist-de\ elopers of 130 West 
Twenty-sixth Street are doubtful that the 
city would undertake a project like theirs 
again: it did not fit very neatly into city 
rules and programs and as an anomaly it 
became somewhat of a headache for city 
officials. It is just possible, however, that 
having broken a lot of untrod ground in 
their four-year effort to buy the building, 
the artists of 130 West Twenty-sixth Street 
have created a model that will smooth 
the way for other artist-owned cooperatives 
in Manhattan. 




R E C O G S 

I Z E D 



Facilitating the Arts 

Folly Restored 

Performing Arts Foundation of 
Kansas City 

Bijou Reset 

Knoxville Heritage, Inc. 

Expanded Repertoire 
Indiana Repertory Theatre 

Landmark for Syracuse 

Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre 

Ballet Hispanico 

New York City Hispanic-American 
Dance Company 

A Peripatetic Theater Finds a Home 
Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre 

Will It Make a Theater? 
Off Off Broadway Alliance 

Drama in North Dakota 
Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater 

Provincetown's Playhouse on the Wharf 
Provincetown Playhouse on 
the \Vharf, Inc. 

Pantages Center for 
Performing Arts 
City of Tacoma 

Choirboys to Chorus Lines 
City of Texarkana 

A Whole Theater 
Whole llieatre Company 

Art and Letters 
Akron .\rt Museum 

Glessner House 

Chicago Architecture Foundation 

Staged Restoration 
Roosevelt University 

The \'illnrd Houses 
Municipal .Art Society 

Museum Mile 

Project for Public Spaces, Inc. 

Museum for the Building .Arts 
Committee for a National Museum 
of the Building Arts 

W'lierc a .Museum is More 
.American Association of Museums 

.\rts and Craft 

Educational Facilities Laboratories 

Nuts R: Bolts 
.Al Gowan 

.Aesthetics in Transportation 
Lajos Heder 

City Slice 

Boston Children's Museum 

Museum in a Mansion 

Children's Museum of Rhode Island 



The projects and publications contained 
in this grant recognition issue oi Design 
Arts liave been selected from among the 
grants given by the Design .Arts Program of 
the National Endowment for the Arts for 
work relating to building for the arts. 

In 1980 the Design .Arts Program, under 
the direction of Michael John Pittas, began 
to review the products of all its grants — 
which number twenty-three hundred — over 
the past fifteen years. The inaugural issue 
oi Design Arts documented exemplary proj- 
ects selected by an expert panel review of 
more than two hundred grants. The 1981 
Grant Recognition Program acknowledges 
exemplary projects relating to arts facilities 
and complexes, planning, and artist housing. 
Fifty projects are described in the following 
pages under sections entitled Facilitating 
the Arts, Arts Centers and District Planning, 
Cultural Heritage, and .Artist Housing. 

Introducing these projects is a discussion 
the economic leveraging achieved by small 
grants in support of the arts and the often 
unrecognized role that design excellence 
plays in leveraging. 

The purpose of the Grant Recognition 
Program is not only to recognize and 
acknowledge particularly meritorious proj- 
ects but, more important, to communicate 
information about them, many of which 
are unknown outside their locale. The pro- 
cess of selecting grants for recognition is a 
lengthy one. .All past grantees are invited 
by the Design .Arts Program to submit 
their work. The program requires that ap- 
plicants return a completed application 
form and sufficient written and graphic 
documentation to enable the project to be 
evaluated. Submissions usually include 
the work of those design professionals who 
have assisted the nonprofit grantee. 



G.A.M.E. for Children 
G.A.M.E., Inc. /Manhattan 
Laboratory Museum 

Your Heritage House 
Your Heritage House 

Voice of Appalachia 
Appalshop, Inc. 

Sylvan Study 

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts 

Cornish Unbound 
Cornish Institute 

A Park for Art 

San Fernando Vallev .Arts Council 

Arts Centers d? District Planning 

A Plan for East Cambridge Along The 

Cambridge Multicultural .Arts Center 

Profits on The Strand 
Galveston County Cultural Arts 
Council, Inc. 

Setting the Stage for San Antonio 
.\rts Council of San .Antonio 

Art. the Handmaiden 
Human Services Corporation 

Baltimore's Theater Project 
Baltimore Theatre Project 

A Design Competition for Fort Mason 
Fort Mason Foundation 

Bronx River's Year-Round Festival 
Bronx River Restoration, Inc. 

Assist for Salt Lake City 

Cultural Heritage 

Old World Wisconsin 
University of 'Wisconsin 

Walpack Center: .An Historic 

.Art Town 
Artists for Environment Foundation 

St. Louis on Display: Thornhill 
St. Louis County Department of 
Recreation and Parks 

A "Picturesque" Spa at the Seaside 
City of Cape May 

Small Town as Art Object 
James F. Barker 

Squatter Settlements 
Stephen O. Bender 

Artist Housing 

Artists as Urban Homesteaders 
Arts Council of Greater New Haven 

Housing .Artists in Boston and Beyond 
The .Artists Foundation Inc. 

Warehouse Space for Minneapolis .Artists 
Minneapolis .Arts Commission 

The Green Machine 
City of Los .Angeles 

Lending a Hand 
City of Seattle 

Ladies Tailor to .Arts .Atelier 
The Goodman Group. Inc. 

Design .Arts Program staff members review 
and group submissions, requesting missing 
or incomplete information. Concurrently, 
the .Arts Endowment invites a panel to select 
outstanding submissions. Panel members 
are chosen for the diversity of their dis- 
ciplines and talents: the 1981 panel included 
architectural and environmental design 
critics, a museum director, an arts adminis- 
trator, an actor, a preservationist, a land- 
i scape architect, and a city planner. 

Submissions to the Grant Recognition 
Program are organized under loose catego- 
ries for review, commentary, and recom- 
mendations by panel subgroups, who deter- 

mine their own criteria for selection. The 
Design Arts Program ground rules ask only 
that a level of excellence be achieved, 
that the cutting edge of design and planning 
be visible, and that the projects in some 
way serve as models for others. 

The review itself takes place over a two- 
day period in February. Panelists debate 
opinions, request additional information, 
and make final recommendations as to 
which projects shall be cited for recognition, 
often with heated debate. Issues of con- 
tention in this year's panel review included 
intention in relation to achievement, form 
versus content, progress versus conservation, 
product versus process, regionalism versus 
nationalism, and social value versus aesthetic 
content. Evidence of these issues in the 
projects selected attests to the vitality the 
arts engender and the continuing attention 
they deserve. 

I would like to thank the panelists who 
participated in the 1981 Grant Recognition 
Program: Robert Campbell, architect 
and architecture critic for the Boston Globe; 
.Adele Chatfield-Taylor of the New York 
City Landmark Preservation Commission: 
Herb Davis, actor: Mildred Friedman, editor 
of Design Quarterly: Karen Gates of the 
Seattle .Arts Commission: Bennie Gonzales, 
architect and city planner; Richard Haag, 
landscape architect; William Marlin editor 
of Inland Architect: Henry Millon of the 
Center for .Advanced Studies in the Visual 
.Vrts, National Gallery of Art; and Rai 
Okamoto, consultant in citv planning. 

Lance Jay Brown, Consulting Editor 


The importance of the National Endoivment's Design Arts Program 

cannot he measured by the magnitude of the funding it provides. 

The gifts are small indeed, ranging over tJie past decade from a typical 

$20,000 to a rare $300,000. But from these small beginnings — 
high-risk seed money not available from any other source — have groiun 
some of the most exciting community design ventures seen in 

the United States today. 

Witness The Strand in Galveston, Texas, 
once one of America's most famous and 
historic main streets. Emily Whiteside, 
former executive director of the Galveston 
County Cultural Arts Council, and Peter 
Brink, executive director of the Galveston 
Historiial Foundation, describe the rebirth 
of this forgotten district of nineteenth- 
century buildings. 

'Ill 1973, tile Endowment provided us with 
an .S8,000 grant for a feasibility study to 
convert The Strand district to arts facilities. 
That study attracted the attention of a 
private foundation, which established a 
revolving fund to continue the project with 
.5200,000. \ViiIi this backing, we were able 
to convince the banking community to 
make available a million dollar line of 
credit with favorable terms. By 1978, S3.5 
million had been invested in housing, shops 
and services along The Strand, and today 
we have a nationally known arts district, 
a major tourist attraction and a significant 
income generator. " 

The concejit behind the Design .Arts 
Program's funding success, as evidenced by 
Galveston's story, is leverage — the strategic 
placement of public dollars in projects that 
then stimulate additional, much-needed 
investment from both jiublic and private 
sources. The leverage principle has been 
used to promote the develop nent of arts 
districts and cidtural facilities throughout 
the United States. Often as creative as the 
designs they support, these financing 
schemes ride on the enthusiasm of the com- 
munities involved, a ground swell that 
may begin with only a few imaginative 
investors. Over time, the ensuing ripples 
from that first well-placed monctarv pebble 
create a more livable place as community 
sales, tax revenues, and personal income 

According to Robert Canon, director of 
the Arts Council of San Antonio, Texas, 
creating an arts district was the only way to 
bring life and prosperity back to his city's 
waning downtown. The .Arts Endowment 
awarded a 520,000 grant to the .Arts Council 
to assist in determining the feasibility of 
developing a performing arts district and 
locating a suitable site. The grant was also 
used to draw up schematic designs and 
management proposals. The resulting plan 
(alls for the 520 million restoration of a 
downtown block containing tv.o venerable 
theaters, \acant office and retail space, and 
some cleared land. Pending approval are 
design plans for a 510 million parking 
garage and galleria to be funded by general 
obligation bonds. A 51 million renovation 
of the Majestic Theater will be completed 
this fall. 

Every Design .Arts Program funding effort 
has as its cornerstone an imaginative idea 
or creative design. Without a design con- 
cept, which allows the public actually to 
envision a project's true potential, invest- 
ment would be far more difficult to attract. 
The uniqueness of the program is that it 
uses an all-too-frequent stepchild in 
.America — good design — to stimulate com- 


numity emluisiasm for tlie re-creation, 
celebration, and liunianization of the places 
where we live. 

The design idea may be unconventional, 
as was Boott Mill in Lowell, Massachusetts. 
,\n antebellum boom town, Lowell fell 
into decline when the textile industry 
moved south following the Civil War. Eco- 
nomic depression lurked until 1972, when 
Lowell's Human Services Corporation 
began efforts to revitalize the milltown. A 
grant of $21,200 from the Arts Endowment 
enabled the Corporation to commission 
plans for a cultural center in one of Boott 
Mill's imused buildings, a critical first step 
toward a rejuvenated city that would one 
day celebrate .America's industrial heritage. 
Six years later. Congress created the 
Lowell National Historic Park, with Boott 
Mill Center as its focus. And now, expand- 
ing on the first plan to convert an aban- 
doned mill building to a cultural center, 
the American City Corporation, a subsidiary 
of the Rouse Company, has announced a 
SllO million revitalization plan calling for 
residential and commercial development 
in a large number of mill buildings, in 
addition to new construction. Human 
Services Director Pat Mogan credits the 
Endowment with "helping us keep the 
vision alive" until private development 
money arrived. 

Can one also credit the original Arts 
Endowment grant with catalyzing the mil- 
lions of dollars' worth of investment now 
pouring into Lowell? Perhaps, or perhaps 
not. One can always imagine that the seed 
funds would have emerged from elsewhere, 
or that Boott Mill would eventually have 
attracted investment money without special 
aid. But the grant came at a time when 
monies for such projects were exceedingly 
hard to come by. Now, of course, a changing 
climate in the cities and the country at 
large is making reinvestment in "marginal" 
old industrial districts attractive. But it 
would be safe to say that the original 
521,200 to assist a rundown milltown was 
a risk well taken. 

Risk taking is key to the program's value. 
Yet it is an uncommon phenomenon in 
government endeavors: for fear of political 
retribution from Congress, city councils, or 
voters, officials hold back, initiate little, 
try to protect their flanks. While industry 
experiments with many products and 
counts on a high percentage of failures to 
breakthroughs as a matter of course, 
government tries to ensure success every 
time, typically by cncinnbcring public 
projects with so many protective rules, 
regulations, and conditions that creativity, 
originality, and commitment are suffocated 
before the project begins. Of course, where 
there is risk there will sometimes be failure, 
but part of the process of problem solving 
is having the latitude to try the wrong road. 
Dollar for dollar, it is likely that the "small 
is beautiful" experimental seed grant 
approach is substantially more productive 
than more familiar methods of government 

By both design and necessity, the risk 
and effort must be shared from the outset. 
Design Arts Program grants are small: 
approximately 250 awards are made from 
a total yearly fund of less than S4 million. 
Each grant must be matched with funds 
from some other source — a foundation, a 
city government, a private contributor — 
in cash, in-kind services, or perhaps a load 
of bricks. No grant can be used to fund 
capital investment and acquisition — 
clearly the resources of the program are not 
sufficient for that — so the focus has turned 
to the less expensive but tougher jobs of 
planning and design. With these designs in 
hand, many a mayor or arts administrator 
has been able to coalesce community 
support around a project. Seeing a graphic 
presentation of what might be, people 
become determined that it ii'ill be. 

"For us, the Endowment grant was 
essential to buy the time we needed to do a 
good job of planning and design," explains 
Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center 
Director David Kronberg, referring to a 

plan to adapt two old courthouses in that 
( ity for reuse as a performing arts center. 
Funded by a small Design Arts Program 
grant, the Cambridge Multicultural Arts 
Center undertook design and feasibility 
studies for restoring and converting the 
courthouses into an arts and commercial 
center as the focus of a city-sponsored 
40-acrc riverfront revitalization program. 
Architect Graham Gund will restore the two 
historically and architecturally significant 
buildings and convert portions to a 
restaurant, law offices, and retail space. 
The design scheme attracted an Urban 
Development Action Grant (UDAG) from 
the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development, and Graham Gund 
.Associates has proposed a tax agreement 
that will enable the arts center to cover its 
capital and operating expenses for the 
duration of its ninety-nine-year lease as well 
as to create a modest endowment for 
program operations. "But without the time 
up front, we never would have been able 
to leverage the UD.\G or work out the lax 
agreement," continues Kronberg. "Now we 
even have enough money to cover operating 

The Design Arts Program often plunges 
into the grittiest, the most put-down, the 
most allegedly obsolete of American cities 
to launch its initiatives. Tacoma, 
Washington, Seattle's blue-collar neighbor 
on Puget Sound, is a factory town plagued 
with pollution, unemployment, and fiscal 
problems. The obvious risks notw-ith- 
standing, the Endowment awarded the city 
a §10,000 grant toward undertaking a study 
of the feasibility of renovating the Pantages 
Theater as a center for the performing arts. 
The result was a proposal for a S5.6 million 
rehabilitation project designed to serve 
approximately one million people in the 
southern Puget Sound region. Thus far, the 
proposal has attracted SI. 5 million in 
private donations, SI million from the city 
of Tacoma, §1.5 million from the state of 
Washington, and §80,000 from the U.S. 
Department of the Interior — nearly 

Every Design Arts Program fiindijig effort has as its cornerstone an 

imaginative idea or creative design. Without a design concept, 

which allows the public actually to envision a project's true potential^ 

investment would be far more difficult to attract. The uniqueness 
of the program is that it uses an all-too-frequent stepcJiild in America- 
good design — to stimulate community enthusiasm for the re-creation^ 
celebration, and humanization of the places where we live. 


The Design Arts Program often plunges into the grittiest, the most 
put-doivn, the most allegedly obsolete of American cities to 

launch its initiatives. 

eighty percent of the required funds. Private 
developers and inililic officials in Tacoina 
fully credit the .\rts Endowment with 
providing the psychological turning point, 
by its interest as evidenced in the small 
grant that instilled needed confidence in 
revitalizing a neglected downtown. The 
success of the theater renovation proved to 
private developers that a risk was worth 
taking. When the .S3.6 million goal is 
attained, the original 510,000 grant will 
have been leveraged 360 percent. 

Clearly, leveraged funds can come from 
any number of sources. By placing money in 
the hands of people who have proved their 
ability to make things happen, the Arts 
Endowment minimizes the risk and ensures 
broad support for the projects it under- 
writes. The design projects themselves are 
as varied as the funding. They may be for 
arts facilities, arts districts, plazas, streets, 
buildings, neighborhoods, parks, water- 
fronts, alleys, or courtyards; and the grants 
may encompass historic preservation, urban 
design, facade renovation, reuse of old 
buildings, signs, landscaping, public events, 
design competition, or the design of new 

The Afunicipal Art Society in New York 
City conceived a place that would 
celebrate design — a permanent center for 
public education and debate on critical 
issues of urban design and planning. A 
§12,500 Arts Endowment grant provided for 
a study to determine whether an urban 
center managed by a not-for-profit 
organization would be economically and 
legally feasible. The grant money was also 
used to conduct a detailed real estate 
analysis for an appropriate location for an 
urban design center. The historic Villard 
Houses, an Italianate mansion on Madison 
Avenue in jeopardy of demolition, proved 
to be the perfect site. An ambitious 
fundraising campaign raised the SI. 5 
million necessary for the Urban Center to 
lease and renovate the north wing of the 
mansion. Sharing the desire to safeguard 

the houses and put them to new use, the 
Helmsley Palace Hotel, located behind the 
mansion, incorporated the central and 
south wings to serve as its public rooms. 
Thus was forged a successful partnership 
between commercial development and 
preservation. Today, the Urban Center is a 
forum for informed public discussion about 
land use, planning, urban design, 
preservation, and public art in New York 
City, and it is home to five local and 
professional design groups. In practical 
terms, the operating budget of the 
Municipal Art Society has more than 
doubled as a result of its heightened 
visibility and the increased demand for its 
services, and New York City's architectural 
heritage has been spared an irreplaceable 

In all of these projects, community 
leaders believe that the seed grant from the 
Endowment's Design .\rts Program has been 
instrumental in illuminating the potential 
of a neglected site. In addition, they view 
the resulting arts activities as a spur to other 
economic development. In Kansas City, 
Missouri, a magnificent old burlesque house 
known as the Folly became the beneficiary 
of an Arts Endowment grant of 520,000 to 
launch a restoration campaign. On a 
neighboring site, construction of a S52.5 
million hotel would have proceeded 
regardless of the Folly: yet developers saw 
in the theater a valuable draw to the 
downtown, and for them. Theater crowds 
would bring business to the hotel's 
restaurant and boutiques. As a result, pains 
have been taken to design a hotel compatible 
with the quiet grandeur of the Folly's fully 
restored exterior. Nearby, the Phillips and 
Embassy hotels were renovated at a cost of 
S8 million each, and a private developer 
spent S6 million to remodel the old 
Shriner's Building and its neighbor for office 
space. .All told, theater restoration has 
helped to spark 572 million worth of new 
development and renovation in downtown 
Kansas City, making that initial 320,000 
grant anything but folly. 

There is little doubt that such grants can 
create a rijjple effect. Some projects, like 
The Strand in Galveston and the Urban 
Center in New York City, have already 
produced impressive results. Others such as 
Boott Mill in Lowell and the Pantages 
Center in Tacoma are only beginning. 

Small grants cnn make a difference. .Art 
and design are effective catalysts. The gov- 
ernment has concei\ed and tested the model, 
but the National Endowment for the Arts 
can fund only twelve percent of the 
applications it receives, even though at 
least half are worthwhile. It is the hope of 
its supporters that the program's decade 
and a half of experience will suffice to 
convince the business community and 
private investors that a small, well-placed 
grant can have a positive impact in effecting 
change and improving the quality of life 
in our cities and towns. 

Geraldine Bachman is an art specialist at 
the Design .Arts Prf)gram of the National 
Endowment for the .Arts. 

Small grants can make a difference. Art and desigji are 

effective catalysts. 




In I'JOO a neo-1'allailian-style biiilcs<]iie 
house opened in Kansas City, and for many 
years the Folly Theater proviiled a glittering 
showcase for such diverse entertainment as 
vaudeville, dramatic performances, prize fights, 
and wrestling matches. Designed by Louis 
Curtiss, one of Kansas City's best-known archi- 
tects at the turn of the century, the Folly hosted 
the likes of Al Jolson, Fannie Brice, Gypsy 
Rose Lee, and Jack Dempsey during its early 
years, but hard times brought intermittent 
closings and, finally, use as a striptease and 
X-rated movie house. 

In 1973 the Folly Theater was closed for 
good and slated for demolition when the 
Performing .\ns Foundation of Kansas City 
(PAF) , an organization formed to promote 
cultural events, led the efforts of many inter- 
ested individuals and organizations to save the 
theater. The Foundation formed a redevelop- 
ment corporation, which purchased the 
theater, restored the facade, and stabilized 
the interior. Three years later, a $20,000 grant 
from the National Endowment for the Arts 
enabled the P.-\F to develop a comprehensive 
plan for the renovation and reuse of the Folly. 
The $3.2 million theater is scheduled to reopen 
in November of this year. 

The building, listed on the National 
Register of Historic Places, is perhaps the only 
burlesque house to be so honored. The theater's 

Periorming Arts Foundation of Kansas City 

During its early years, the 
Folly hosted Al Jolson, Fanny 
Brice, Gypsy Rose Lee, and 
Jack Dempsey. 





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A detail of the Folly's Beaux Art facade. 
Photograph by Patty Berkebile Nelson 

Patty Berkebile Nelson Associates, Inc., architects 

Stevson-Hall & Wade, structural engineers 

Smith & Boucher, mechanical /electrical engineers 

Colleen-Anderson and Associates, 

acoustical consultants 

Harry Weese and Associates Ltd., 

consultant architects 

Theater consultants: George Izenour, 

Robert B. Dustman III, Michael P. Price, 

Frederick Roberts 

Donald Shulman, development and 

arts management consultant 

classic rectangular shape provides superb 
acoustics and sightlines and an ideal setting for 
a broad range of dramatic and musical perfor- 
mances. The restoration architect, Robert 
J. Berkebile, says of the Folly, "It is structurallv 
sound, has perfect acoustics, and there isn't a 
bad seat in the house. Modifying the acoustic 
environment to allow for amplification systems 
unheard of at the turn of the century will 
allow a rock group to sound as good as a 
Wagner opera. ... a theater that looks as if 
it were built in 1900 and operates as if it were 
built in the year 2000." 

The architect sees the renovation project as 
part of the growing movement that puts old 
buildings to new use. .At costs substantially 
lower than new construction, the Folly offers 
intimate audience and stage contact with a 
thousand-seat capacity, high-f|uality stage and 
backstage flexibility, and a potentially profitable 
location as a downtown con\ention facility. 

.\fter the Folly Theater opens, the 
Performing .Arts Foundation will manage it for 
use by the community. Joan Kent Dillon, 
president of P.AF, has steered the organization 
into a cooperative relationship with other 
cultural groups in the downtown area with the 
intention of coordinating and expanding the 
range of artistic programs offered to the 
residents of Kansas Citv. 

Project Director: 
Joan Kent Dillon, president 



When it was built in 1908, Knoxville's 
Bijou Theater was indeed a jewel. .According to 
the Knoxville Sentinel, one of the city's leading 
newspapers of the day, theatrical and archi- 
tectural experts had pronounced it "one of the 
best constructed and most conveniently 
arranged houses in the entire south." The 
reporter went on to praise the lighting, 
acoustics, and stage facilities at length. 

It was not surprising, therefore, that over 
the next four decades, the cream of this 
country's actors played the Bijou. Still, there 
were long periods when the theater stood dark. 
The most curious and incongruous of these 
was from 1926 to 1932, when the building was 

The cream of this country's 
actors played the Bijou. Still, 
there were long periods when 
the theater stood dark. 

used by a car dealer to store his secondhand 
merchandise, after the city of Knoxville pro- 
nounced the number of exits insufTicient and the 
theater hazardous for public use. Des])ite such 
setbacks as this, the Bijou prospered with 
legitimate theaters. .Although vaude\ille and 
motion pictures were offered from time to 
time, they were of secondary importance. By 
1950, however, the era of touring theater com- 

panies was virtually at an end and the Bijou 
became a largely forgotten movie house. By the 
mid-1970s it faced almost certain demolition, 
as did one of Knoxville's oldest and most 
celebrateti hotels — the Lamar House — which 
stood directly in front of the theater. 

In 1976, the two-building complex became 
the focus of a concerted preservation effort 
engineered by a nonprofit organization called 
Knoxville Heritage, Inc. .A highly successful 
fundraising drive enabled the group to purchase 
the property and commence restoration work 
on the interior of the theater. ,A little more than 
a year later, the shabbiness and decay wrought 
by years of neglect had undergone a Cinderella- 


like metamorphosis. The auditorium once 
again became an ideal performing space, with 
its excellent acoustics intact. The renovation 
remained faithful to the original neo-Baroque 
style of the building. Particularly striking now 
are the imposing Corinthian columns that 
frame two-tiered box seats on either side of the 
proscenium and support finely worked pedi- 
ments. Each of these is broken by a cartouche, 

The original Bijou Theater, circa 1920. 
Photograph courtesy oj Format. 

consisting of a large, oval medallion, flanked 
by two well-rounded cherubs. 

The nature of the Bijou-Lamar House 
configuration enabled the front of the hotel to 
serve as the facade of the theater in the new 
design. With the interior of the Bijou restored 
and functioning, attention was turned to the 
exterior, and to the interior of the former hotel. 
Over the years, the facade of the Lamar House 
had suffered major alterations totally out of 

Knoxville Heritage, Inc. 

The theater, sun'ivor of numerous renovations, 
during tlie recent restoration campaign. 
Photograph courtesy oj Format. 

Ronald E. Childress, architect 

keeping with the original design. The object of 
the next jshase of renovation was to re-create 
the old facade, using early photographs as 
guides. Meanwhile, the interior was to be 
refurbished and much of it given over to rental 
space as a way to offset the theater's operating 

In 1979 a $150,000 Challenge Grant from 
the National Endowment for the .\rts enabled 

Restoration almost complete. Photograph 
courtesy oj Format. 

Knoxville Heritage to complete the restoration 
work. The Lainar House, where, long ago, 
presidents were entertained and Civil War 
soldiers were bunked, now provides valuable 
revenues for the theater, as well as administra- 
tive space for performing arts groups. The 
Bijou continues to draw large audiences to 
recitals of jazz, folk music, opera, ballet, Shake- 
speare, symphonies, and string quartets. The 
jewel has most certainly regained its luster. 

Proiect Director: 
W. Glenn Bullock, chairman of the board 


In its heyday, the Indiana Theatre — a 
notable example of the flamboyant movie 
palaces that characterized Hollywood's Golden 
Age — offered such theatrical and musical 
luminaries as Eddie Cantor, Burns and Allen, 
Fats Waller, and Benny Goodman to crowds 
of three thousand who flocked to Indianapolis 
from all over central Indiana. 'With the advent 
of television in the 1950s, howe\er, and the 
subsequent transformation of the entertainment 
industry, the grand old theater was forced 
into a dramatically different role. Football — 
not film — stars illuminated its large screen 
and instead of the Big Band rhythms of the 
thirties and forties the rafters reverberated to 

The architect has preserved 
the building's extravagant, 
Spanish Baroque facade of 
glazed terra-cotta tiling, the 
grand lobby — replete with 
fountain and Taj Mahal 
mural — and the Indiana Roof 

the sound of rock and roll. 

By the 1960s, the Indiana Theatre was 
showing mo\ ies once again, but only as a ghost 

of its glorious past. In 1976 the theater closed, 
becoming another monument to changing taste 
and a languishing downtown area. Two years 
later, the burgeoning Indiana Repertory 
Theatre (IRT) , in search of more space, saw 
the opportunity to meet its own expanding 
needs and save the city's only remaining movie 
palace from destruction. Benjamin Mordecai, 
IRT's producing director and one of its three 
founders, initiated an effort to acquire and 
refurbish the theater. In May of 1978, the 
National Endowment for the .\rts stepped in 
with a ,§15.000 research and design grant. The 
IRT hired a leading Indiana architect and 
expert in theater design, Evans Woollen, to 


determine how the building could best be con- 
verted to house IRT productions, as well as 
opera, ballet, music, modern dance recitals, 
and fdm festivals. 

In considering how best to convert the 
Indiana while retaining its historical character. 
Woollen studied regional theater houses across 
the country, particularly the Trinity Scjuare 
Repertory Theatre in Providence, Rhode 
Island, another fonner movie palace that had 
been transformed into a modern, two-theater 
facility. The resulting design is an impressive 
blend of old and new. ^Voollen has preserved 
the building's extravagant, Spanish Baroque 
facade of glazed terra-cotta tiling, the grand 
lobby — replete with fountain and Taj Mahal 
mural — and the Indiana Roof ballroom, to be 
used for social events and as a convention 
and meeting center. 

Indiana Repertory Theatre 

The ornate terra cotta facade. 
Drawing by ]VooIlen Associates. 
Photograph courtesy of Indiana Repertory 


The design scheme divides the original 
three-thousand-seat auditorium into three sep- 
arate performing spaces. The main theater, able 
to accommodate 600 people, houses the IRT's 
major subscription series. The space lends 
itself equally well to elaborate, multiple-set 
productions, film festi\als, and to more inti- 
mate, single-actor works. A second, smaller 
theater, seating 250, offers more innovative. 


Woollen Associates, architects 

Lehn Associates, mechanical /electrical engineers 

Kolbjorn Sacther, structural engineer 

Roger Morgan, theater consultant 

Bolt, Beranek & Newman, acoustical consultants 

experimental plays by contemporary .American 
playwrights and occasional music and dance 
concerts. The third, and smallest, space has no 
permanent seating. It is used for rehearsals, 
workshops, children's productions, community 
acting classes, and in the future will be used 
for cabaret performances. I'lasterwork gargoyles 
and Gothic dragons from the original audi- 
torium's proscenium decorate two of the walls, 
nostalgic remainders from the past. 

The Indiana's current productions may be 
a far cry from the vaudeville acts of )esteryear, 
but one cannot help but feel the old-time 
performers would approve. .\ landmark mo\ie 
palace has been saved, a vital young repertory 
company has an inspiring, permanent home, 
and a significant step has been taken to resital- 
ize downtown Indianapolis. 

Project Director: 
Benjamin Mordecai, producing director 


When the owners of the Loew's State 
Theatre in Syracuse, New York started talking 
of demolishing the theater because of 
diminishing profits, a group of horrified local 
residents banded together to wage an all-out 
"save- the- theater" campaign. 

Citizen concern was understandable, given 
that the theater was an exotic and quite 
splendid creation of famed architect Thomas 
Lamb, who designed in an era when romantic 
vision was given full rein. Completed in the 
late 1920s, the theater had been the perfect 
setting for the idols of stage and screen to weave 
their magic and allow audiences to forget 
temporarily such harsh realities as an economic 

Completed in the late 1920s, 
the theater had been the 
perfect setting for the idols of 
stage and screen to weave 
their magic and allow 
audiences to forget tem- 
porarily such harsh realities as 
an economic depression and 
a ^vorld war. 

depression and a world war. Plush tapestries 
and draperies adorned the walls, the extrava- 
gant auditorium ceiling was offset by the 
balcony's intricately gilded pillars and arches, 
and bronze entrance doors opened onto a 
grand promenade and lobby reminiscent of a 
sultan's palace in the Arabian Sights. 

Determined to prevent this remarkable 
edifice from falling prey to the wrecker's ball 
and modern development, Syracuse citizens 
formed a corporation called the Syracuse .\rca 
Landmark Theatre. For two years, from 1975 
through 1977, the group worked to have the 
building listed on the National Register of 
Historic Places and negotiated, first with the 


Loew's Corporation and then with the 
succeeding owner, to purchase the building. 
In May 1977 they achieved their first \ic- 
tory when the theater was entered in the 
National Register of Historic I'laces. Six months 
later, the Landmark trustees took possession 
of the building, following a hectic fundraising 
campaign that produced generous donations 
from the public plus a matching grant from the 
Division of Historic Preservation in New York 
State's Department of I'arks and Recreation. 

Restoration work on the building, totaling 
$1.5 million, is now about one -fifth complete. 
A $5,000 Arts Endowment grant enabled the 
Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre to begin by 
hiring architects, engineers, a restorations 
assistant, and heating, cooling, and ventilation 

Exterior masonry has been extensively 
repointed, which has stabilized and insulated 
the building. The auditorium roof has been 
resurfaced and the bronze entrance doors 
restored. Inside, new stage draperies and light- 
ing and sound systems have been installed; the 
original switchboard, stage rigging, and pro- 
jection equipment have all been restored, as 
have the dressing rooms and the stage and 
orchestra-pit elevators. 

The professionals have been helped enor- 
mously in their work by an enthusiastic, 
tireless group of volunteers, who have devoted 
well over one hundred thousand hours to 
repairing, cleaning, painting, and servicing 
the theater. 

The restoration of the Landmark has 
kindled considerable community investment as 
well. Directly across the street from the theater 
an abandoned department store was converted 
to a restaurant and arcade, with a skywalk to 
the adjacent bank building. The city of Syra- 
cuse earmarked $1.2 million for improvements 
to Clinton and Hanover squares. The Dome 
Hotel was reno\ated at a cost in excess of 
$200,000, and $10 million was spent to expand 
the Hotel Syracuse and de\elop an adjacent 
park and parking garage. 

Despite the considerable restoration work 
remaining at the theater, the Landmark is 
functioning remarkably well. More thair half a 
million people have attended performances 
or used the theater since it reopened late 
in 1977. 

The Arabian Nights glow restored to 
Thomas Lamb's Syracuse Theatre. 
Photograph courtesy oj Jamie Williams. 

True to its tradition, the theater offers both 
movies (classic, educational, anci children's 
films) and live entertainment. .As the largest 
theater in the central New York area, with a 
seating capacity of close to three thousand, it 
has been able to afford high-fee artists such as 
Victor Borge and Sarah Vaughan, plus 
Broadway-cast productions of The XViz, A 
Chorus Line, and Dancin'. 

The Landmark also has its own resident 
acting company. Twice a week the theater's 
facilities are offered to senior citizen thespians, 
and workshops and programs for both teen- 
agers and children are conducted regularly. 
Aspiring playwrights and composers are en- 
couraged to stage their works at the Landmark. 
The twice-weekly Lunch Box Theatre offers 
an opportunity for interested writers and 
performers to display their talents. During the 
midday hours, workers and shoppers are treated, 
without cost, to a spectrum of performing 
arts events ranging from opera to mime. The 
Landmark has strengthened community ties by 
opening its doors for club meetings, lectures, 
weddings, graduations, and other celebrations. 

A remarkable cooperative effort has 
succeeded in saving a theater that has been 
described as one of the most beautiful in the 
world. Young and old alike can continue to 
dream under its gilded arches. 

Project Director: 
Rose Bernthal 


Jamie Williams, architect; engineers; restoration 

assistant; heating, air, and ventilation 

professionals; many volunteers 

Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre 


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Draicitig prepared for t/ie Historic American 
Building Survey by Emery Roth i- Sons, 
drawn by Varalhorn Bookaman. 


Since becoming a national repertory com- 
pany in 1970, Ballet Hispanico of \ew York 
has established itself as both a vibrant pro- 
fessional dance troupe and a school of dance for 
children and adults. The Company's home is 
one of a pair of two-story frame carriage houses 
on West Eighty-ninth Street in Manhattan, an 
area composed of residents from diverse ethnic 
and economic backgrounds. Over the years. 
Ballet Hispanico has become an arts resource 
center for the community, providing dance 
classes, performances, and programs to the 
public schools. 

The land on which the Company's quarters 
are located is owned bv the citv of New York; 


New York City Hispanic-American Dance Company 

(Ballet Hispanico of New York) 

Ballet Hispanico has become 
an arts resource center for the 
community, providing dance 
classes, performances, and 
programs to the public schools. 

thus when an urban renewal program designed 
to dispose of and develop city property was 
reactivated in 1977, Ballet Hispanico was faced 
with two options: a move to a different area or 
the opportunity to purchase and renovate 
the two buildings at the present site. The Com- 
pany's desire to remain in the upper \\'est 
Side and to expand their ser\ ices and activities 
was realized with a small grant from the 
National Endowment for the Arts in 1979, 
which enabled them to undertake site evalu- 
ation, preliminary architectural drawings. 

Bullet Hispaniro's permnnetit home, the last 
remaining carriage houses on Xeu' York's upper 
}\'est Side. Photograph by Luis Lopez. 


Tina Ramirez, artistic director 

Buck/Cane Arct)itects 

Technical consultants: Robert Silman Associates; 

George Lander, engineer; Yorke Construction 


and cost-feasibility and construction studies 
and, based on these, to procure substantial 
initial funding for capital impro\ements. 

The total budget for the purchase, renova- 
tion, and expansion of Ballet Hispanico's 
quarters is estimated to be S700.000, and the 
C^ompanv has already seen more than fifty per- 
cent of that goal realized. With the aid of 
public funds from the city of New York and a 
recent Challenge Grant from the Arts Endow- 
ment to encourage matching contributions and 
strong comnuinity support. Ballet Hispanico 
is exhilarated at the prospect of opening their 
1983-84 season in their newly purchased and 
renoxated home. 

Protect Director- 
Verdery Roosevelt, executive director 




After fourteen years spent touring New 
York City's parks, streets, and schools using a 
mobile van as its stage, the Puerto Rican 
Tra\eling Theatre Company (PRTT) lias 
found a permanent home in the heart of the 
Broadway theater district, and a piece of 
nineteenth-century architecture has been 
preserved for posterity. 

The Company's new home is a former 
firehouse, designed by Napoleon Le Brun and 
constructed in 1880. 'When Fire Engine 
Company 54 vacated the building for more 
modern accommodations aroiuid the corner, it 
stood idle until the sharp c^c of PRTT's 
artistic director, Miriam Colon Edgar, spotted 
its potential. .\ dedicated team effort to pur- 
chase and reno\ate the building for use as a 
theater was launched by PRTT staff, board 
members, volunteers, architects, and contractois. 
Early this year their labors were rewarded 
when the players staged their first production 
in the converted firehouse. 

The design phase of the project was funded 
primarily by the .Arts Endowment and the 
Rockefeller Brothers Fund, with some addi- 
tional corporate and foundation support. .Archi- 
tects Peter Blake and Brian Smith were able 
to keep the building's brick and cast-iron 
exterior completely intact. The cast-iron sec- 
tions have been painted, appropriately, 
fire-engine red, drawing attention to the neo- 
Gothic detail. 

Inside, the architects needed to work with 
the precision of watchmakers, given the con- 
fines of space. The four-story building is just 
23 feet wide and measures 70 feet deep instead 
of the more usual 100 feet. The designers 
managed to get around the problem beautifully, 
gutting most of the interior and ending up 

Firehouse turned theater, in plan (above) and 

section (far right). 

Drawings courtesy of Blake, Smith, and Hays. 

The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre Company 

When Fire Engine Com- 
pany 54 vacated the building 
for more modern accommoda- 
tions around the corner, it 
stood idle until the Theatre 
Company's artistic director 
spotted its potential. 

A I'aratcd Mnnhnllan firehouse, built in 1S80 
(ind designed by Xafioleon Le Brun, is the new 
home of the Puerto Rican Traveliiig Theatre. 
PhotograpJi courtesy of Puerto Ricaji Trai'eling 

Project Director: 
Miriam Colon Edgar 

with a 196-seat theater that is graceful, intimate, 
and modern. The only reminder of a bygone 
century is the 36-foot-tall cast-iron spiral stair- 
case that formerly pro\ ided the firemen access 
to their station and now ser\es to connect 
the third and fourth floors. 

The first floor was remodeled extensively 
and part of it was raised to build the stage. 
Raked orchestra seating makes the stage visible 
from any angle. On the second floor, the archi- 
tects designed a small balcony for additional 
seating. Dressing-room space was allocated in 
the basement, as was a room for set design. 

Because they could not afford the luxury of 
a spacious lobby. Blake and .Smith dcsignetl a 
lounge on the third floor to accommodate 
intermission audiences. Mindful of the troupe's 
desire to offer more than spectator roles to 
interested community members, they planned 
the fourth floor as a workshop and training 
area. Both third and fourth floors have been 
designed with deliberate flexibility to permit 
multiple activities. 

The inspired, collaborative effort has 
brought to an end the wanderings of the peri- 
patetic players, who will henceforth enrich 
the cultural life of the community in consider- 
ably more ease and comfort. They intend to 
stage three plays a year — in English and in 
Spanish — as well as other performing arts 
events, such as dance and classic guitar 

The project provides an outstanding 
example of how to put precious city space to 
valuable use while permitting a small piece 
of old New York to survive. 

Architects: Peter Blake and Brian Smith in 

consultation with David Hays 

Public ofticials: Comm. Henry Geldzahler, 

Department of Cultural Affairs. City of New York; 

Comm. James Capalino, Department of General 

Services, City of New York 

Volunteers: Desmond Clarke, assistant 

vice-president, real estate industries division, 

Citibank; Jerry Cohen, vice-president, 

A & J Construction Co. 



Zounds! You and the rest of your theater 
company have been scouring the streets for 
months in search of the perfect space, and 
finally you've found it, on the second floor of a 
moldering warehouse. Not only is there room 
for your entire troupe, but there is space for a 
modest audience as well. Alreadv vou anticipate 
■'Standing Room Only" on opening night. But 
will it make a theater? 1 hat is the ciuestion. 

Now there's an answer, Will It Make a 
'Ihealre is the brainchild of the Off Off 
Broadway .Alliance (OOBA) , a league of not- 
for-profit ])rofcssional developmental theaters 
in New York City dedicated to nurturing the 
conditions and processes necessary to the sur- 
vival of the theater artist, OOB.A theaters 
realize that locating performing space is onlv 
the begiiming: once you'\e obtained that loft, 
warehouse, or church basement, you've still 
got to renovate it, finance it, and bring it 
up to code. 

OOBA theaters realize that 
locatincr performing space is 
only the beginning: once 
you've obtained that loft, ware- 
house, or church basement, 
yoti've still got to renovate it, 
finance it, and bring it up 
to code. 

Written with the understanding that 
nonprofit theaters operate on the leanest of 
budgets. Will It Make a Theatre offers tips on 
"getting more for less — if possible for free." 
One of the book's most helpful aspects is its 
interpretation of New York City's building, 
electrical, and fire pre\ention codes, which 
enaljles space seekers to evaluate their findings 
in terms of cotlc requirements. 

Performing arts groups seeking a perma- 
nent home, as well as the student or pro- 
fessional interested in theater design and 
architectural reno\ation, will find OOBA's 
guide to economical and off-the-beaten-path 
space rcno\ation a valuable reference. 

First published in 1978 and now in its 
second printing. Will It Make a Theatre is 
a\ailable from the Off Off Broadway -Alliance, 
U)2 West Fifty-sixth Street, Room 206, New 
York, New York 10019, S8.00 prepaid plus 
51.00 postage and handling. Enquiries should 
be sent to Mark Simon, OOB.A Project 

Cover, Will It Make a Theatre. 

Off Off Broadway Alliance, Inc. 


Eldon Elder, chief writer and illustrator 

n/larsha Imfiof and Stiaron Lee Ryder, 

associate writers 

Judy Sagarin, editor 

Robert Fitzpatrick, book designer 

Project Director: 
Ellen B. Rudolpti 


Success usually brings its own problems, 
as the Fargo- Moorhead Community Theatre 
began to discover three years ago. So popular 
had the performances becoine — season 
subscriptions had risen from 885 in 1977 to 
almost 2,200 by 1981 — that the players were 
increasingly taxed by inadequate support space. 
Performing area was ample, but storage and 
ofTice space, rehearsal areas, and scenery con- 
struction rooms were needed urgently. 

The company's board of directors gave 
careful thought to possible solutions. Strong 
community ties to the theater, dating from the 
construction of the playhouse in 1967, which 
was financed largely by the citizens of eastern 

National studies have revealed 
that the Fargo- Moorhead 
region contributes more 
dollars per capita to the arts 
than does any other area in 
the United States. 

North Dakota and western Minnesota, argued 
for community invohement now. 

To celebrate that in\ohcment, the board 
decided to sponsor a regional architectural 
design competition for professionals and 
nonprofessionals. Fhcy obtained a matching 

grant of S8,000 froin the .Arts Endowment, 
chose three jurors, headed by internationalh 
known architect John Johansen, and developed 
competition guidelines. Important among 
these were cost, preser\ation, and the enhance- 
ment of the theater's park setting. Guidelines 
emphasized design concepts o\er actual con- 
struction plans; however, the winning entry was 
to be realistic enough to ser\e as the prototype 
for a renovation plan, if funds could be 
raised for the project. 

1 he competition sparked widespread 
interest and high-caliber entries. .A first prize of 
32,500 was awarded to .Mark .Anderson, an 
architect with a local firm. .Anderson's entrv 


showed an intrinsic uncierstanding of and 
respect for the delicate balance existing between 
the playhouse and the park. He strengthened 
the relationship between the two by adding an 
outdoor theater and terraced plaza. Moreo\er, 
he cle\erly preserved precious park space by 
devising subterranean storage rooms and a scene 
shop. His costume and scene construction 
rooms were large and readily accessible to the 
stage and e.xits. His design utilized vacant space 
between the lobby and the auditorium for 
adminisirati\e space. 

In announcing their decision, the jurors 
cited .Anderson's success in keeping his design 
consistent with the existing style of the building 
and in no way detracting from its (juiet charm. 
.Also important was the fact that his concepts 
could be executed econoiTiically, and in incre- 
mental stages if necessary. 

The design competition was only the first 
step for the Fargo-Moorhead C:ommunity 
Theatre. Now the challenge is to turn concept 
into reality. The forecast is bright, howe\er, 
for the fundraising campaign scheduled to be 

launched in the fall of 1981. In addition to the 
theater, a thriving symphony, an opera 
company, and dance groups attest to the com- 
munity's love and support of the performing 
arts. In fact, national studies have revealed that 
the Fargo-Moorhead region contributes more 
dollars per capita to the arts than does any 
other area in the United .States. The same com- 
munity dedication that helped build the 
original playhouse will undoubtedly ensure the 
implementation of a winning design. 

Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre 

Project Directors: 
Robert Myers and David Phillips 

Prolessional Advisor: 

Richard Moorhead, AIA, Clark Holman & 

Moorhead, Ltd. 


John M. Johansen, FAIA, 

Johansen & Bhavnani Architects, New 'York 

Herbert A. Ketchum, Jr., AIA, 

The Architectural Alliance, Minneapolis 

Robert A. Feder, Fargo, North Dakota 

Winning Entries' 

Mark A. Anderson (First Award), 

Foss Engelstad Foss, Architects /Engineers 

John P. Rohrman, AIA (Professional Award), 

John P. Rohrman, Architect 

Steve Johnson and Harlan Tande 

(Non-Professional Award), Foss Engelstad Foss, 

Architects/ Engineers 



On March 25, 1977, the Provincetown 
Playhouse in Provincetown, Massachusetts, 
an historic seaport community at the tip of 
Cape Cod, was torched and destroyed by 
arsonists. The Playhouse, a recycled whaling 
wharf, was the third in a succession of wharf 
theaters. The first, an old fishing shed at the end 
of a pier, burned and a second theater collapsed 
into the sea during a winter hurricane in 1940. 
The original theater presented Eugene O'Xeill's 
first play in 1916, which laiinchetl his career 
and set a new course for modern .American 
theater. Since that time, the Playhouse has 
been devoted to the works of O'Neill and other 
important .American playwrights, to experi- 
menting with new plays, and to collecting 
O'Neill memorabilia, much of which was 
destroyed in the 1977 blaze. 

The first step toward rebuilding the 
Provincetown Playhouse began in 1978 with a 
grant from the National Endowment for the 
.Arts for a twelve-day architectural competition 
and subsequent design development. The 
classic competition took a new form at Province- 
town by involving the community in the 
design and selection process. 

In a plan conceived by architectural critic 
William Marlin and developed in collaboration 
with project director .Adele Heller, seven 
architectural firms were in\ ited to Pro\ ince- 
town for a week to develop designs for a new 
building that was to occupy a waterfront site. 
The facility was to include a main theater with 
maximum seating for five hundred and ease 
of movement for the handicapped; a main 
rehearsal room, which could be converted to a 

The classic competition took 
a new form at Provincetown 
by involving the community 
in the design and selection 

one-hundred-seat experimental minitheater 
and classroom for year-round use; a common 
backstage area, dressing rooms, and costume and 
scenery shops; a lobby with a box office 
adjacent to the administrative office; the Eugene 
O'Neill .Archiv al Center; and an all-purpose, 
all-weather pa\ ilion and caretaker's C]uarters. 
In addition, the architects were asked to allow 
for possible future installation of rooftop 
collectors for solar energy. 

Provincetown Playhouse on the Wharf, Inc. 

Project Directors: 
Adele and Lester Heller 


William Marlin, consultant 

Architects: William Warner; Turner Brooks; 

Morrish, Fleissig & Robinson; Perry, Dean, Stahl 

& Rogers; Kennedy-Montgomery Assoc; 

Paul Righter; Paul Krueger & Assoc. 

Jurors: Ted Barker, Sal and Josephine DelDeo, 

I. M. Pel, Raquel Ramati, Arthur Cotton Moore, 

Laurence Booth, Herbert MacLaughlin, 

Walter Wagner 

William Rogers, town engineer 

Charles Cobb, town manager 

Rev. Reid and congregation. 

First Universalist Church 

Ciro Cozzi 

.A restaurant on a pier in the harbor was 
converted into a studio during the design 
charrette and each afternoon the public was 
invited to an open house where their comments 
and questions were encouraged. The nine- 
member jury chaired by I. M. Pei included 
Raquel Ramati of New York; Herbert 
McLaughlin of San Francisco; .Arthur Cotton 
Moore of \Vashington; ^Valter \Vagner, editor 
of Architectural Record; Laurence Booth of 
Chicago; and three Provincetown residents. 

The winning design, by William ^Varner 
of Exeter, Rhode Island, was announced to a 
crowd of peojile on a Sunday in one of 
Provincetown's historic churches. Warner 
created a shingled, wharflike structure, the 
end of which will house the O'Neill archives. 
AV'arner describes the design as a "living ware- 
house." Indeed, it incorporates a feeling for the 
town's whaling and fishing history as well as a 
sensitivity to its artistic heritage. 

The Provincetown design charrette proved 
to be both an effective and flexible instrument 
in the design selection process and an un- 
excelled opportunitv to help foster a public 
consciousness of architecture. The Province- 
town experience also provides a national model 
for design competitions involving the com- 
munity. -A similar concept has been tried in San 
Francisco for the design of a master plan for 
Fort Mason, an abandoned army post within the 
Golden Gate National Recreation .Area that is 
listed in the National Register of Historic 
Places. The Provincetown charrette has also 
))rompted legislation that will encourage more 
competitions for federal buildings. 




The fust Holl\\v()oil molion picture was 
completed late in I'Jl 1 , gi\ ing hii th to a new 
incliisiry iliat rapidly took the country by 
storm. The Hollywood "dream inachine" was in 
place, churning out extravaganzas. At least one 
individual, a flamboyant figure named 
•Alexander I'antages, (juickly recognized both 
the need for appropriate theaters in which 
to show Hollywood's creations and the oppor- 
tunity to capilali/c on that need on a grand 
scale. I'antages, known as the \'aiideville King, 
designed his chain of \audc\ illc theaters to 
be suitable for both stage and, later, screen. 
Across the country, they became jiopiilar havens 
of escape and enchantment. 

The oldest remaining Paniages theater, 
built in 1916 in lacoma, Washington, will be 
restored as a center for the performing arts 
that will serve about one million people in the 
southern Puget Sound area. The ])roject, 
begun late in 197,"), received a considerable 
boost frotn a .SIO.OOO .Arts Endowment grant in 
1979, matched with Commiuiity Development 
Block Grant funds. The grants enabled the 
city of Tacoma, with the cooperation of the 
Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission 
and the Pantages Center Corporation Board, 
to hire an experienced theater architect, 
Richard F. McCann, to determine the feasibility 
of adapting the building to meet modern 
theater requirements. McCann is a protege of 
the late B. Marcus Priteca, architect of the 
Tacoma Pantages theater. His recommenda- 
tions for the theater inclutlcd the purchase of 
the building immediately to the south in order 
to expand the existing stage. In this way a 
facility would be created to accommodate ballet, 
opera, and symphony concerts, in addition to 
dramatic theater. Revenue-generating space for 

The potential of the Pantages 
theater project to breathe 
new life into Tacoma's central 
business district was recog- 
nized by local individuals and 
corporations, as well as state 
and federal officials, who 
together raised ^5.6 million 
to fund it. 

City of Tacoma 

Proiect Director 

Community Development Department, 

Ke/f/j A. Palmquist, director 


Pantages Center Corporation 

R. F. McCann Company, architect 

Performing arts groups 

Tacoma Landmarks Preservation Commission 

Rcnaissnnre detail on tlie exterior of the 
Panltii^es theater is given new life as the build- 
irig is converted to a performing arts center 
in Tacoma, Wasltington. Photograph courtesy 
of Tacoma Community Development 
Department (right). 

Plaslenvoi li detail above theater box. 
Photogrnf>li courtesy of Tacoma Community 
Development Department (left). 

offices and amenities was also planned. The 
purpose of these support facilities was twofold: 
to provide income from rents that would 
offset the theater's operating costs and to draw 
])eople to the center. 

Paramount in the architect's thinking was 
a desire to sacrifice as little as possible of 
Pritcca's original .Neoclassical design, with its 
Italian Renaissance embellishments. In making 
necessarv changes and additions, McCann 
sought to maintain the same scale and feeling 
as in the original design without necessarily 
matching it precisely. Hence, McCann's design 
for an expanded main lobby and a restored 
auditorium strongly reflected the original. 

The potential of the Pantages theater 
project to breathe new life into Tacoma's 
central business district was recognized by local 
individuals and corporations, as well as state 
and federal officials, who together raised 
$5.6 million to fund it. The city appropriated 
SI million; the Pantages Board, the .State of 
AVashington, and the Economic Development 
.Administration (ED.A) each pledged Sl.j 
million. The program was also nominated for 
and received the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's 
Historic Preservation C^hallenge Grant — an 
$80,000 avvaid for additional design work. But 
the funding won't end there. Thanks to the 
Pantages theater, the city of Tacoma believes 
in itself once more, so much so that local in- 
vestors are planning a signihcant nudtiinillion- 
dollar development. 

The importance of the Pantages theater 
adaptation was summed up by the ED.\ when 
announcing its support for "a national model 
demonstrating the effectiveness of these types of 
projects as catalysts for the rejuvenation of 
this nation's inner cities." 

t^^^ ^^^^ i^F 



The early days of Texarkana's Saenger 
Theatre were glorious. Built in 1924, it was the 
southern rail town's largest anil most opulent 
entertainment palace. Douglas Fairbanks, John 
Drew, Will Rogers, and -\nnie Oakley were 
line of the theatrical legends who stepped 
fore the footlights to enthrall audiences. 
An incipient motion picture industry also made 
an illustrious debut at the theater with D. AV. 
Griffith's America. 

In 1931 the Saenger changed hands and 
was renamed the Paramount. Movies slowly 
usurped the popularity of live entertainment 
and finally the theater was given over 
exclusi\ely to celluloid. The mo%ies in turn 
fell victim to a public's infatuation with tele- 
\ ision. and in 1977 the theater closed. Luckily, 
a tradition-conscious citv council, fearful of 
losing such a vital link with Texarkana's past, 
hastened to purchase the building and shortly 
thereafter launched an intensive fundraising 
campaign to finance its restoration. The 
response was outstanding and in March of 1981 
the theater reopened — with a new name, the 
Perot, in recognition of a generous donation 
from the Perot Foundation. 

The architectural/engineering phase of the 
project was helped by a S15,000 .Arts Endow- 
ment grant. Structurally the building was quite 
sound and the exterior required little more 
than extensive cleaning. The interior posed 
more of a problem. Substantial refurbishment 
was called for, but so successful has the effort 
been that few giveaways of technical innovation 
are visible. The gilded plastenvork now cover- 
ing the auditorium's ceiling cleverly conceals 
speakers and heating v ents. New stage, sound, 

City of Texarkana 

\Vorking ^vith painstaking 
care and precision, painters 
and plasterers slowly trans- 
formed the vast, fading audi- 
torium to its former glory. 

and lighting s\ stems were built to meet modern 
performing requirements, but with minimal 
sacrifice of architectural authenticity. 

^Vorking with painstaking care and pre- 
cision, painters and plasterers slowly trans- 
formed the \ast, fading auditorium to its 
former glory. Their skillful brushes revived 
the ornate molding of the proscenium arch and 
opera boxes. Faunlike creatures from Greek 

MS ' 




Ceiling detail, Perot Theatre. Photograph by 
Les Eugene. 


Bell. Klein & Hoffman, architect 

Restoration committee: City Council and Ctiamber 

of Commerce. Texarkana: Regional Arts and 

Humanities Council: Texarkana Historical Society 

and Museum: Playfiouse Theatre: Little Theatre; 

Community Concert Association 

mythology once again sport in gold-leaf splen- 
dor beside horses and chariots of ancient Rome. 

.\n exact replica of the theater's original 
blue and tan carpet has been woven and the 
new blue-velvet draperies and stage curtain 
duplicate the old. The original balcony seats 
needed renovation but were in sufficiently good 
condition to be saved. The new orchestra 
seats are copies of the old. 

Hanging throughout the auditorium are a 
number of beautiful, stained-glass chandeliers 
that survived from the theater's earlv davs. 
Considerable time was spent trying to deter- 
mine whether the auditorium had also boasted 
a large, crystal chandelier in the center. The 
lines were evenly drawn between those who 
swore to its existence and those who just as 
firmly denied it. The latter group finallv won 
out and a reproduction was not attempted. 

Since the theater reopened, performers of 
all persuasions — from choir boys to chorus 
lines — have been playing to packed houses. 
.\ grand gala on Mav 2 of 1981 featured the 
Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Other scheduled 
performances include ballets, musicals, plays, 
country-and-wesiem shows, and film festivals. 

The $2 million restoration project has 
proved to be resoundingly successful in Texar- 
kana's downtown development plan. It is 
expected that the theater activ itv will stimulate 
additional private investment. In the mean- 
time, theater-goers are being afforded a 
fascinating step back in time because of the 
city's conviction that the past can enrich and 
play a part in the present. 

P" ec! D -eclor: 
Candy Stevens 


.\ converted bank has given residents of 
Montclair, Xew Jersey, a regional theater 
providing professional qualitv in the shadow of 
Broadway while stimulating the economic 
resurgence of the city's downtown. 

In 1976, the Committee for the Revitaliza- 
tion of Downtown Montclair approached the 
Whole Theatre Company and its fundraising 
arm, the New Jersey Theatre Foundation, in 
search of a project that would help reverse the 
deterioration of the city's central business 
district. The committee believed that a cultural 
facility could best serve as a catalyst for com- 
mercial development and proposed a building 
vacated by a local bank on the main street of 
Montclair, which is also the main route through 

Since the Whole Theatre 
opened in its new home, 
its subscriptions have 
increased more than one 
hundred percent. 

the county, as the site for the facilitv. The 
Foundation and the Company agreed that the 
site would serve well as a pennanent home. 

The A\"hole Theatre Companv obtained an 
Arts Endowment grant to develop architectural 
plans for conversion of the bank to an intimate 
190-seat theater. The completed design allows 
for the expansion of the theater to more than 

300 seats and includes rehearsal and classroom 
space for the educational programs the 
Company sponsors for the community, as well as 
a cafe. Stage and seating areas have been 
designed as modular units to enable the space 
to be transformed to end. thrust, or arena 

Since the Whole Theatre opened in its 
new home, its subscriptions have increased 
more than one hundred percent. Performers 
offer to capacity audiences a repertory that 
ranges from classic to new and experimental 
works. The Company also has its own pro- 
fessional training school with three semesters of 
thirty courses each, and offers perfonning and 
educational programs to the region's public 


schtKjls, centers for disturbed adolescents, and 
the community. 

The establishment of the regional theater 
in downtown Montclair has exceeded the 
expectations of the city's revitalization com- 
mittee both by enhancing the reputation of 
northern New Jersey as a progrcssi\e and 
culturally vital region and by stimulating the 
hoped-for economic resurgence of Montclaii's 

The Whole Theatre Company 

Protect Director 
Arnold Mittleman 

A new facade for a converted bank. 
Photograph courtesy of the 
Whole Theatre Company. 

central business district. New small businesses 
and bouticjucs have appeared, and existing 
shops, restaurants, and offices are renovating 
their facilities. C!ommunity support for the 
theater had been warm from the start; now, 
skyrocketing real estate \alucs have given 
business representatives an appreciation for the 
positive role a cidtural facility can plav in 
injecting new energy into a faltering district. 


The New Jersey Theatre Foundation, Montclair 

Gerald Valk, architect 

Sander Gossard, theater consultant 

Marshal Spiller, lighting 

Grant Gille, mayor of Montclair 


A landmark post office built in 1899 in 
.\kron, Ohio, will be metamorphosed when 
it reopens in September 1981 as Ohio's only 
museum specializing in contemporary art. 

The building, listed on the National 
Register of Historic Places, was chosen by the 
.Akron .Art Museum as the new home of its 
expanded collection after a grant from the 
National Endowment for the .\rts in 1978 
enabled the Museum to study its options for a 
move to a new facility. The selection of the old 
post office was made feasible by two e\ents: a 
decision by the city of .Akron to deed the build- 
ing to the Museum and the Museum's receipt 
of a $2 million challenge gift from an anony- 
mous friend, 'to obtain the $4.8 million needed 
lo convert the historic building, the Nfuscum 
laimched a successful "New Museum Fund" 
campaign, which brought in contributions from 
industry, business, foundations, individuals, 
and families in the surrounding area. 

Akron Art Museum 

.4kro7i's huidmark post office, modeled after 
an Italian f)alazzo, is beint^ restored by 
architects Dalton, van Dijk, Johnson as Ohio's 
museum for contemporary art. Draining 
b\ Dalton. Tan Dijk. Johnson. 

The selection of the old post 
office was made feasible by two 
events: a decision by the city 
of Akron to deed the building 
to the Museum and the 
Museum's receipt of a $2 mil- 
lion challenge gift from an 
anonymous friend. 

The architect selected for the rehabilita- 
tion of the old post office, Peter van Dijk, has 
faithfully restored the elegantly proportioned 
ftalian palazzo-styled structure to its original 
beauty. The luster of the original stonework 
shows through the cleaned facade; copper gut- 
ters and a custom-made red-tiled roof have 
been installed; and a sculpture court and park- 
ing lot have been constructed adjacent to the 
original building. Interior spaces have been 
gutted and refitted for two galleries — one for 
the permanent collection and one for traveling 
exhibitions — and for a reception foi,er. library, 
office, and storage and work areas. 

Once complete, the Museum will offer 
Akron the best of both worlds: a magnificent 
building that reflects a rich historic past and a 
completely new museum devoted entirely to 
Modern and contemporary art. 

Project Director: 
Trustees and Stafi 


Community leaders in private sector 

Welty Building Corporation 

Dalton, van Dijk. Johnson & Partners, architects 



Henrv Hobson Richardson left the Windy 
Citv a legacy of four buildings. Bv 1966 all 
but one — Glessner House — had been razed in 
the interests of "progress." A group of young 
professional Chicagoans, seeing the hand- 
writing on the wall, banded together, deter- 
mined to save one of the last buildings designed 
bv the larger-than-life Richardson, whose 
genius revolutionized American architecture 
and greatlv influenced the work of both Louis 
Sullivan and Frank Lloyd \Vright. 

The group incorporated as a not-for-profit 
organization called the Chicago School of 
Architecture Foundation anci was able to raise 
sufficient funds to purchase the building. They 

In the rarified world of 
Chicago's Prairie Avenue, a 
house so different from those 
around it generated con- 
troversy and even outrage 
among the avenue's elite. 

Richardson's first-fioor plan for Glessner 
House. Drawing courtesy of Houghton Library, 
Han'ard University (below). 

Prerestoration I'iew of the controi'crsial north 
facade, which faces the street. Photograph 
courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation 

Street. From all records, those years were 
particularlv happv and fulfilled. The two 
Glessner children grew up, married, and left, 
but still the home continued as a place of 
celebration, convi\ ialitv. and culture. 

The Chicago School of Architecture Foun- 
dation sought to recapture not only the ph\sical 
appearance of Glessner House but also the 
warm and enlightened spirit of its former 
inhabitants. It seemed especiallv appropriate 
that, if possible, the building be used as a 
conference and hospitalitv center. ^Vith a grant 
of S6.000 awarded by the National Endowment 
for the Arts in 1972. the Foundation hired 
consultants to determine whether it could 


~^ T! la^Ma^, _, 



undertook considerable research on the history 
of the house, which was built between 1886 
and 1887, to ensure that the ensuing restoration 
would be as authentic as possible. Their 
research uncovered a fascinating but sad story. 
Because Richardson did not live to see the 
blueprint on which he had expended time, 
energv, and love become a reality, it was left to 
his successors to execute the design. They did 
so with fidelity and precise attention to detail. 
Richardson would have been happy, as was 
the Glessner family, for whom the house was 
built. The same could not be said for some of 
Glessner's neighbors, howe\er. In the rarified 
world of Chicago's Prairie Avenue, a house 
so different from those around it generated con- 
troversv and even outrage among the avenue's 
elite. "I don't know what I have e\er done to 
have that thing staring me in the face e\ery 
time I go out of my dcx)r." George Pullman of 
railroad-car fame is said to have growled. 

Richardson had broken totally with tradi- 
tion by designing just a few small windows 
on the street side of the building and taking 
the L-shaped structure right up to the corner 
lot lines. The focal point of his plan was a 
spacious interior courtyard onto which the 
principal rooms opened. Here numerous large 

windows more than compensated for their 
absence on the exterior. Thus did Richardson 
manage to minimize street noise and dirt and 
to create for the family its own quiet and totally 
private world. 

Richardson's love of Romanesque archi- 
tecture was evervwhere evident: strong, simple 
lines, exquisite proportions, and beautiful 
rounded arches over the main and side en- 
trances. Richardson was noted for his ability 
to blend the colors and textures of natural 
materials harmoniously; Glessner House is a 
striking example of this talent. The exterior 
was faced with Braggville granite, offset by a 
red-tiled, steeply pitched gable roof. Pinkish 
brick covered the walls of the courtyard. The 
lintels and sills were trimmed with Joliet 

The simple, restrained st\le of the exterior 
was carried over to the interior and, rather 
than imposing an aesthetic, it encouraged 
expression of the occupants' taste. The Glessners 
filled their new home with sculpture, paintings, 
etchings, engravings, rare books, and \ ases, 
gathered lovingly o\er the years with fine 
collectors' eyes. For almost half a centurv. John 
and Frances Glessner lived in the house on 
the corner of Prairie .\venue and Eighteenth 

indeed function in such a capacity and, if so, 
what changes would facilitate the adaptation. 

The discussions triggered by this study 
were highly fruitful. They afforded the Foun- 
dation an opportunity to draw up a master 
development scheme, which would be imple- 
mented in stages. In the following years, changes 
and modifications were made to many of 
the original plans, but a lot was accomplished. 
The main floor is now a museum. Glessner 
heirs donated much of the original furniture 
and bric-a-brac and, with the aid of old 
photographs, the rooms have been re-created in 
their former elegant image. The conserv atory 
was remodeled and the courtxard landscaped. 
Both are now used for lectures and meetings. 
Second- and third-floor space is devoted 
primarily to offices for \arious architectural 
organizations, including the Foundation (now 
called the Chicago Architecture Foundation) . 

The story of Glessner House is remarkable. 
Not onlv did its saviors preserx e a masterpiece 
by one of America's most creative architects, they 
also were able to fulfill two of John Glessner's 
last wishes: that his home one day be used as a 
learning center and that the family's cherished 
portrait of Richardson continue to hang in 
the living hall as long as the house was standing. 

Chicago Architecture Foundation 


Community Programs, Inc., Chicago: Kay W. Levin, 

Robert Levin. Thomas Joli 

P.'cec D!-ec:or: 
Jeannette Fields, executive director 




The \eneiablc ami icnowncd Adler & 
Sullivan Audiioiiimi Biiikling, a forerunner of 
the modern skyscraper, is an outstanding 
example of the "Chicago School" of architec- 
ture. One of the first multi-use buildings, 
it was also innovative technologically, with 
electric lights rather than gas, a basement 
waterproofed against soil pressure, and the 
most thorough lircproof construction at 
the time. 

However, when the fledgling Roosevelt 
University purchased the Auditorium in 1946, 
the once-grand building had long been 
neglected and abused. In post-World War II 
.America, old buildings were "modernized" or 
"remodeled"; the concepts of restoration and 
adaptive use were unfamiliar or unknown. 
Although examples of such work abound in the 
Auditorium Building, Roosevelt I'niversity 
could afford to repair and reuse only on an 
incremental basis. Recognizing the almost 
certain need to rehabilitate and restore over 
a long pericxl of time, the university's board 
authorized the preparation of a comprehensive 
long-range plan for the building. 

Support from the .\rts Endowment and 
from the National Trust for Histoi ic Preser- 
vation enabled the university to obtain 
professional assistance. Preservation architect 
John Vinci was hired to survey the areas of 
exceptional architectural importance in the 
.\uditorium anil to develop priorities, guide- 
lines, standards, and recommendations for 
restoration. Vinci's work lesulted in a report 
describing the original use and appearance 
of ten significant interior spaces — lobbies, 

Roosevelt University 

In post— World War II 
America, old buildings were 
"modernized" or "remod- 
eled"; the concepts of 
restoration and adaptive use 
\\ere unfamiliar or unknown. 

The Auditorium rSiiilding designed by master 
architects Dankmar Adler and I.ouis Sullivan, 
constructed in 1889 in Chicago. Photograph 

by Cabanhan. 


H. P. Davis Rockvi/ell, 

Danforth-Rockwell-Carow/, coordinating architect 

John Vinci, preservation architect 

Robert Burkhardt, Burkhardt & Associates, 

engineering consultant 

Wallace-Migdal & Drucker, Inc., engineers 

Susan Jackson Keig, signage and graphics 

Peter Holt, AIA, assistant director of physical plant, 

Roosevelt University 

Max Nichols, director of physical plant, 

Roosevelt University 

loimges, and dining rooms — and suggesting 
ways to restore and adapt them to meet uni- 
\ersity needs. His rcjKirt is an integral part of 
the total design drawn up by the architectural 
hrm Danforth-RockwcU-C^row. 

The expectation that the restoration would 
ha\e to be undertaken in small increments 
over a long time while the building remained 
open inade the tlesign scheme especially 
challenging to prepare. Incremental iitiplemen- 
lation distinguishes this undertaking from 
the usual restoration or rehabilitation project, 
for which a large sum of money is raised, 
a buikling completely cleared, and the entire 
project executed at one time. Roosevelt Uni- 
versity, a relatively young institution without 
a significant endowment, could not raise the 
SIO to SI.5 million in capital funds necessary to 
implement the design all at once, nor could 
the institution move its operations while work 
was under way. Thus, Roosevelt University 
has planned a succession of rehabilitation proj- 
ects ranging in cost from S"),00{) to S')00,000 
to be implemented in order of priority as 
special gifts and grants are received. Of greatest 
urgency are exterior restoration and mainte- 
nance, new electrical and energy-conservation 
systems, and the implementation of security 
and safety measures. 

The incremental character and excellent 
Cjuality of this design plan make it a valuable 
model for other owners of large historic 
buildings who might also envision gradual 
restoration while the building remains 

Project Director 
Daniel H. Perlman, vice-president tor administration 


In the latter years of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, New York's Madison .-Avenue was a 
residential street lined with modest brownstones 
of human proportions, highlighted by an 
Italianate mansion at Fifty-first Street modeled 
after the Palazzo dclla Cancelleria in Rome. 
The elegant building was cleverly designed 
in 1882 by McKim, Mead and White to encom- 
pass what were actually six separate houses. 
Known as the Villard Houses, they virtually 
began the movement of Renaissance-inspired 
classicism that swept the country at the turn 
of the century and now stand as one of the last 
remaining traces of elegant Renaissance 
academicism among Manhattan's corporate 
skyscrapers and commercial towers. 

The mansions were created for railroad 
magnate Henry Villard, who lived in the largest, 
most opulent of the six and leased the other 
five, more modest, villas to executives in his 
company. Over the past century, the houses 
have accommodated a succession of colorful 
residents, from the Fahnestock family, to Lowell 
Thomas, to the publishing firm Random 
House. Villard's own mansion served as the 
home of the .\rchdiocese of New York until 
its conversion to the Helmsley Palace Hotel in 
1980. When the .-Vrchdiocese put the parcel 
of land on the market in 1973, it was assumed 
that demolition of the houses was imminent. 
Thanks to the intervention of the Municipal .\rt 
Society (M.^S) and its partners in the effort 
to enhance New York's architecture, urban 
design, and public art, Villard's former home 
has been preserved and a portion is now the 
home of the Urban Center, a facility com- 

prising the .Architectural League of New York, 
the Parks Council, the New York Chapter of 
the .-American Institute of .Architects, and the 
NL\S; it also boasts the only bookstore in 
New York dedicated to the built environment — 
Urban Center Books. 

The metamorphosis of the \illard Houses 
was initiated with the help of a small Cultural 
Facilities grant from the National Endowment 
for the .Arts to conduct a feasibility study 
svnthesizing economic, legal, and real estate 
information. The analvsis leil to the proposal 
to renovate the north wing for use bv the M.AS 
and other members of the Urban Center in 
the form of a mixed-use building housing 
exhibition, office, and commercial space. 



Margot ^\'eIlington. executi\e director of the 
MAS, sa\s the arrangement that facilitated 
the renovation "demonstrates the successful 
marriage of prescr\ation and new de\ elopmcnt." 

A sublease contract with the de\elopers 
of the hotel (the guest rooms of which rise in a 
new fifty-one-story tower built behind the 
mansions) rendered the MAS responsible for 
capital improvements of the north wing. The 
rental of part of the space to commercial 
tenants at market rates has helped to subsidize 
the rental costs for nonprofit tenants and allows 
for exhibitions and public e\ents in the elegant 
parlor rooms. .\n inicnsi\e fundraising 
campaign secured a second award from the .Arts 
Endowment in the form of a S300.000 Chal- 
lenge Grant, which brought in SI. 2 million in 
private contributions, enabling construction 
to begin in .\pril 1979. The reno\ation of the 
\'illard Houses, which entailed extensive work 
to the energv systems as well as the interior 
finishing and furnishings, was carried out by 
James Stewart Polshek & Partners. 

When the Archdiocese of New 
York put the parcel of land 
on the market in 1973, it was 
assumed that demolition of 
the houses was imminent. 

Since its official opening in .August 1980, 
the I'rban Center has attracted more than 
2.").000 people — an a\erage of four hundred 
\isitors per day — with a variety of events 
ranging from receptions for the National Trust 
for Historic Preser\ation and the 
Democratic National Convention, 
to lectures bv Charles Moore, 
Christo, and Massimo \'ignelli, ^^ ^ 
to discussions on Midtown 
and south Bronx rede- 

\eIopment. Ihe Center's efforts ha\e enhanced 
the \isibility of urban design issues among 
the diverse constituency it seizes. 

Two exhibitions from the combined 
opening and restoration celebration presaged 
the important roles the Urban Center may 
play in New York City's future development. 
"Buildings in Progress" presented, stage b\ 
stage, the de%eIopment of six prominent exam- 
ples of Manhattan's current building boom. 
"The Li\able City — Love It or Lose It" 
demonstrated the fragilitv of architectural 
monuments. The multidimensional display cast 
Grand Central Terminal as a marionettelike 
centerpiece, prey to the whim of any passersby 
who might pull the string — and see the 
structure tiunble down before their eves. 
Counter to the imfortunate reality of Penn- 
syhania Station, a second pull reconstructed 
the building in reverse. 

West elevation facing Madison Avenue (left). 
Drawing prepared for the Historic American 
Building Siiniey by Emery Roth d- Sons, 
drawn by Varathorn Bookaman. 

The entrance hall to 457 Madison Avenue as it 
looked when still a private residence: now the 
entrance to The Urban Center (below left). 
Photograph by Mattie E. Hewitt. 

One of the original ViUard House draicing 
rooms before purchase by Random House 
publishers. The space is now occupied by 
The Urban Center (below). 
Photograph by Mattie E. Hewitt. 

The Municipal Art Society of New York 


James Stewart Polshek & Partners, architect 

Ivan Chermayeft, designer 

Doris C. Freedman and Ralph Menapace, 

presidents. MAS 

Frederic S. Papert, chairman, 

MAS building committee 


Project Director: 
Margot Wellington, executive director 



W'licn tlcbating llic nicrils of remaining in 
the city versus quitting it for more peaceful, 
even if less stimulating, cn\ ironments, most Xew 
Yorkers list the city's cultural attractions as 
prime inducements for staying. The Metro- 
politan and Ciiiggcnheim Museums are 
constantly cited. Less frequently mentioned arc 
eight other cultural institutions also located 
on ujjjjer Fifth A\cnue between 82nd and lOrjth 
.Strccis: the Cooper-Hewitt Museimi, El Museo 
del Barrio, Goethe House, the International 
Center of Photography, the Jewish Museiun, the 
Museum of the City of New York, the National 
Academy of Design, and the YIVO Institute for 
Jewish Research. 

In an effort to increase public awareness 
of all ten of these institutions, Lisa Taylor, 
director of the C:oo])er-Hcwitt, created the con- 
cept of Mirscum Mile. .Museiun Mile is a 
cooperative undertaking by the ten museums 
to pool resources, relate more closely to Fifth 
.\vcnue, and forge stronger ties with local 
com miuri ties. 

losing grants from the Arts F.ndowment 
and the J. M. Kaplan Fund, Museum Mile 
participants asked Project for Public Spaces, Inc. 
(PI'S) , a nonprofit firm of designers and 
social scientists specializing in the analyses of 
open space, to help them target their problems 
— primarily low attendance — and the potential 
of upper Fifth .Avenue as an open space fea- 
turing museums. .As part of its study, PPS 
conducted a survey of three thousand visitors to 
the area, two-thirds of them actual museum- 
goers and the other third sidewalk strollers. The 
objectives were to ascertain how aware visitors 
were of the number and \arietv of cultural 




For two hours one balmy 
Tuesday evening in June, 
upper Fif ih Avenue was closed 
to traffic, niusetun admission 
was free, puppeteers per- 
formed, and street musicians 

institutions along this stretch of Fifth .Avenue 
and to recommend ways to increase public 
awareness. PPS also interviewed museum rep- 
resentatives and closely monitored Fifth 
.Avenue activities and the museum entrances. 

.Although scarcely more than one-tenth of 
the persons cjuestioned in the survey stated 
that they never visited museums, the majority 
did say that museum-going was only one of 
several reasons for their presence in the area. 
Shops, boutiques, restaurants, and Central 
Park were the other strong draws. 

The PPS sur\ ey revealed a need for an 
effective public information system encompass- 
ing both museums and support facilities. 
Many people had scant knowledge of where 
shops or restaurants were located in the area 
and were etiuallv unaware of the restaurants 
and gift and book shops located within the 

Based on its survey, PPS also recommended 
that the museums synchronize hours and 
admission policies as much as possible; imple- 
ment special programs for schools, local block 

Fifth Aiiouie's Museum Mile extends from 
tlie Metropolitan Museum of Art to El Museo 
del Barrio, a new museiun of Latin American 
culture. Draicirig by Project for Public 
Spaces, Inc. 

associations, and merchants; schedule regular 
walking tours of the area; and hold street 

The museums' first cooperative undertaking 
as Museum Mile was a highly successful street 
festival held in the summer of 1979. For two 
hours one balmy Tuesday evening in June, 
upper Fifth .Avenue was closed to traffic, mu- 
seum admission was free, pupjieteers performed, 
and street musicians offered appealing and 
varied selections — ranging from Mozart to 
Bartok to Puerto Rican folk music — to 
thousands of people, some on roller skates, most 
on foot, many with children in tow. In those 
two hours, seven times the daily average number 
of visitors filed through the International 
C:enter of Photography, while an unprecedented 
2,019 people [joured through the doors of the 
Jewish Museum. Two more ecjually successful 
street festivals have been held since. 

Museum Mile has hired an administrator 
with assistance from the J. M. Kaplan Fund 
to coordinate many of its activities. A brochure 
in the form of a map and brief description 
of each institution's facilities, as well as a 
Museum Mile poster, have been printed for 
broad distribution. Tlie city of New York 
has officially designated upper F'ifth .Avenue as 
Museiun Mile, and has erected signs at every 

I hrough the ongoing publicitv fostered 
by Museum Mile, upper Fifth .Avenue should 
ultimately become synonymous in the public 
mind not only with the Metroijolitan and 
the Cuggenhcim, but also with eight other 
smaller, but no less dazzling, cultural gems. 




E 79 E 80 £ 81 E 82 E 83 E 84 6 8? E 86 E 87 E 


I — II — irni — II irni — ^i — i rni ii ii irni ii ii irni i i in 

38 E 89 E 90 E 91 E 92 E 93 £ 94 £96 £96 E 97 £ 98 £99 £ 100 E 101 E 102 E 103 £ 104 E 105 E 106 £ 107 


Project for Public Spaces, Inc. 


Fred I. Kent III, president 

Linda Anne Leeds, research director 

Kathleen Love, research consultant 

Sue Rieder, Arne Abramson, Dan Ochiva 


Project Director- 
Stephen Davies 


A fivc-vcar fund ihi\e to form a national 
museum of aichitectuie culminated in ScjJtem- 
ber 1980 when the Committee for a National 
Museum of the Building Arts announced the 
founding of the National Building Museum. 
Two months later, Congress passed legislation 
authorizing the renovation of the Pension 
Building, a Renaissance-revival structure in 
downtown Washington, D.C., to house the 
Museum. Cooperative agreements between the 
National Building Museum, the Department 
of the Interior, and the General Services 
.Administration facilitated implementation. 
.Aided by support from the .Arts Endowment, 

Xow a landmark on the National Register of 
Historic Places and the site of the National 
Museum for the Building Arts, the Pension 
Building u'as built in 1882 to serve the nation's 
I'elerans. Photograph by Robert Lautnian (left). 

The 323 million renovation of 
the Pension Building will 
help to revitalize Judiciary 
Square, a rundown area of 
inner Washington. 

private foundations, and the building industry, 
the National Building Museum will provide an 
exhil>it antl studv center encompassing all 
aspects of building the human habitat. The 
Museum is to serve as a clearinghouse for 
information on the built environment and to 
dramatize the beauty and li\ability of .America's 
architectural heritage. 

The National Building Museum will 
provide three major services: exhibitions, edu- 


National Building IVIuseum (formerly Committee for 

a National IVIuseum of <he Building Arts), 

Bates Lowry, director 

Project Director: 
W. Boulton Kelly, special assistant to the director 


Elisabetfi Rubin, executive assistant to the director 

Audrey Scher, head, public affairs 

Judith Lanius, head, interpretation center 

Joyce Elliott, editor. Blueprints 

Mary Hewes, associate development officer 

Nancy Mannes, coordinator, volunteers and 

national affiliates 

Cynthia R. Fields, former president, Committee for 

a National Museum of the Building Arts 

cation programs, and a liljiarv and archi\es. 
.Special projects arc already under way. .A build- 
ing fair was held in the summer of 1980. 
Exhibits were sponsored in part by local unions 
including bricklayers, electrical workers, 
elevator constructors, iron workers, carpenters, 
engineers, painters, sheet-metal workers, and 
steamfitters. .An added benefit: the S23 million 
renovation of the Pension Building will help 
to revitalize Judiciary Square, a rundown 
area of inner Washington. .Already, two new 
buildings — the Metro headciuarters and a 
fire station — have risen adjacent to the Build- 
ing Museum. 

The building's most distinctive feature is an 
astonishing inner court, where nine inaugural 
balls have been field. Photograph by Robert 
Laiitman (right). 


Each of the buildings — which range from a warehouse in 
Boston to a jail in Billings, Montana — is now a vital 
museimi space, and each has served as well to strengthen 
the musetun's ties to the community. 

Fifteen years ago, the idea of reusing old 
buildings for commercial or cultural purposes 
was a novel one in the United States, where a 
preoccupation with newness had long held sway 
over preservation. Today, howe\ er, in almost 
every city, facades denoting a church, ware- 
house, or railroad depot are likely to conceal 
surprises: apartments, businesses, even museums 
are occupying the exciting new spaces these 
"forgotten" structures offer. 

The contribution of museiuns to the 
nationwide effort to revitalize old buildings is 
the focus of "Museums and .Adaptive Use," 
a special edition of Museum News, the bimonthly 
magazine of the .American Association of 
Museums. The concept for this issue evolved 
from the recognition that, although many 
museums had rea])ed the economic, social, 
and environmental benefits of recvcling old 
buildings, scant information had been pub- 

lished on those projects or on the problems 
peculiar to museums attempting to adapt an 
existing building. 

Ten case studies were selected from more 
than seventy-five museum-adapted buildings 
to be published in the issue. Each of the build- 
ings — which range from a warehouse in 
Boston to a jail in Billings, Montana — is now 
a vital museum space, and each has served 
as well to strengthen the museum's ties to the 
community. In choosing to rehabilitate existing 
buildings, the museiuns have made a commit- 
ment to preserving the character of the 
communities they serve. 


C^opics of ■■Nfiiseuins and Adaptive Use" 
may be obtained for $3.25 by writing to 
Piiljlications, American Association of Museums, 
1035 I homas Jefferson Street, N.W., Wash- 
ington. D.C. 20007. 

Coi'er, "Museums and Adaptive Use," and 
j'ieivs of the Lincoln and Renwick galleries at 
the Xational Collection of Fine Arts in 
Washington, D.C, one of ten case studies 
rei'ieieed in this special issue. Photographs 
rourlesv of American Association of Afuseums 


Marcia Axtmann Smith, writer and consultant 

Ann Hofstra Grogg, consultant 

Gene Bunnell and Linda Coe, writers 

Staff: Susan J. Ttiomas. M/gs Grove, 

Alexandra Walsti 

Gerard A. Valeria, Bookmark Studio, designer 


Guns and butter notwithstanding, what do 
a torpedo factory in Virginia and an Illinois 
dairy barn have in common? Both have been 
swept up in the growing trend toward non- 
traditional housing for the arts. Their stories, 
and others like them, constitute a series of 
handsome publications produced by Kducationai 
facilities are featured in AV«» Places for the Arts 
with funding from the National Endowment 
for the Arts. 

Nearly one hundred recently built muse- 
ums, performing arts centers, and multi-use 
facilities are featured in Sew Places for the Arts 
and its sequel, Neiu Places for the Arts, Book 
Tun Brief descriptions of each project, which 

New homes for arts facilities 
range from mills to chapels to 
fuse factories. 

include funding sources and consultants" names, 
are accompanied by architects' floor plans. 
Technical Assistance for Arts Facilities: A 
Sourcebook provides a listing of federal, state, 
and pri\ate sources where arts groups can 
seek, help in planning for their facilities. 
Descriptions of cooperative planning and exam- 
ples of the collaborative use of resources 
are available in Phnniing and Cooperative 
Use of Resources for the Arts. 

'The Arts in Found Places includes more 
than two hundred examples of arts facilities 
whose "new" homes range from mills to chapels 
to fuse factories. The interested reader will 
discover how and where the phenomenon of 
reuse has occurred, and the positive effects 
that renovation and rcoccupalion bv arts groups 
ha\e had on urban centers and neighborhoods. 

The prices of these reports vary from 
.S2.00 to S7.00. Copies may be obtained from 
EFL, a division of the .Academy for Educational 
Development, 680 Fifth .Avenue, New York. 
New York 10019. 


for the 



Two publications prepared by Educational 
Facilities Laboratories, New I'laces for the Arts 
and The Arts in Found Places, espouse 
nontraditional facilities for arts q;row/;,s. Pltoto- 
grafjlis courtesy of Educational Facilities 

Educational Facilities Laboratories 


Project Director: 
Alan C. Green 


Beryl L. Fields and Frances Shaw, 

research associates 

Judy Murphy and Sy Zachar, writers /researchers 

Peter Green, editor 

Keith Godard, publication design 

Michel Goldberg, graphic designer 

Sanchez, designer 





case studies 
in public design 

by al gowan'er, Xiits & Bolts. 

Grantee and Project Director: 
Al Gowan 

Tree stumps have been rein- 
carnated as acrobats, and the 
city's garbage trucks are 
nothing short of stunning. 

In the most unlikely blocks of Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, on any given day, another 
passerby discovers the zany wonders wrought 
with brick walls, tree stumps, and, of all 
things, garbage trucks. Building walls are 
bedecked with colorful murals depicting Things 
Cantabrigian: a boat ride on the Charles 
River, a mansard mansion. Tree stumps have 
been reincarnated as chess pieces and acrobats, 
and the city's garbage trucks are nothing short 
of stunning: the whole trundling fleet is 
painted bright orange and emblazoned with 
"The \V'orks," a moniker for the Cambridge 
Department of Public \Vorks. 

Public art has special appeal for Al Gowan, 
who ser\ ed as administrator of the Cambridge 
Arts Council in the mid-1970s. A 1978 Design 
Fellowship from the National Endowment 
for the Arts afforded him the opportunity to 
document the projects he oversaw, as well 
as those in other cities, in \uts d- Bolts: Case 
Studies in Public Design. 

In his book, Gowan delves into the mecha- 
nism of public design, detailing the origin of 
ideas, sources of funding, selection of artists, and 
execution of particular projects. Gowan's 
inclusion of entertaining anecdotes bespeaks 
his personal invohement in many of the 
design projects he cites, as well as his comfort- 
able rapport with two dixerse groups: city 
officials and artists. 

Xuts i' Bolts is available for S6-63, postage 
paid, from Public Design Press, 80 Orchard 
Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140. 

Fred Fallcr's ifondrti hand, arrested mid-wave, 
Cawbridge, Massachusetts. Photograph bv 
Al Goxean. 




Anyone who lias coiiii il)iiic(l U) a Cross- 
Bronx Expressway traffic jam or conipeted for 
standing room in a dingy, ovcrlicatcd subway 
car might tlespair of reconciling the terms 
aesllictics and Irfiu.spoilnlion. To our detriment, 
aesthetics has been a slight, often nonexistent 
considciation in planning for our public trans- 
portation facilities. 

Mindful of the problem, the U.S. Depart- 
ment of I'ransportation engaged the services of 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, architects Moore- 
Hcdcr, who took to the streets in search of 
solutions. Aesthetics i)i Transportation is a 
publication of their findings, a set of guidelines 
for incorporating design, art, and architecture 
into transportation facilities. A Design Fellow- 
ship from the National Endowment for the 
Arts enabled Lajos Hcder to research street 
and surface transit design for an earlier project, 
portions of which are included in this 

Aesthetics presents some of the more 
successful meldings of art and architectural 
design with urban transportation facilities 
here and abroad. In Crand Rapids, Michigan, 
for example, a monumental steel scidpture 
by .Alexander Calder entitled "La Grande 
Vitesse" forms the centerpiece of a large urban- 
renewal project. Its piominence attracts pedes- 
trian movement across the central downtown 
plaza where strolling otherwise inight be dis- 
couraged by a large barren space. In Stockholm, 
Sweden, a subway tunnel radiates prehistoric 
ambience, the result of a design schcine that 
retained the tunnel's natural cavelike walls. 
Metro stations in Montreal, Canada, character- 
ized by warin colors, spaciousness, and natural 
light, reflect the designers' concern for human 

.Although good examples of artful design 
in transportation aboiuid throughout the book, 
the authors irote the valuable lessons to be 
learned fronr the bad examples as well. It would 
seem that the very nature of public transpor- 
tation systems — so costly and, once completed, 
permanent and pervasive — demands from the 
start a close attention to the fine points of 
design: those kind to the environment, and us. 

Grantee and Project Director: 
Lajos Heder 

Contract Otiice 

U.S. Department of Transportation, office of 

the secretary, office of environment and safety, 

Robert P. Tfiurber, tecfinical representative 


Ellen Shostikes, project coordinator 

Victor Karen and Anne Schmidt, staff 

Consulting personnel: Jennifer Dovuley; Marvin 

Colenberg, SG Associates: Mags Harries; Thomas 

Kirvan, Carol R. Johnson & Associates; 

Pamela Worden 

Production: Preston Gralla, editor; Michael Sand, 

graphic design consultant; W. Booth Simpson, 

typographical consultant; Gail Burwen, layout 

The very nature of public 
transportation systems — so 
costly and, once completed, 
so pervasive — demands from 
the start a close attention to 
the fine points of design. 

Aesthetics in Transportation may be 
obtained by contacting the Superintendent of 
Documents, U.S. Go\ernment Printing Office, 
Washington, D.C. 20402. 

A transportation mall u'ith flair in Portland, 
Oregon. Photograph by James Lemkin for 
Skidinore. Ouings and Merrill. 

Cover, Aesthetics in Transportation. 



Muvseevum,' he said. It was 
round and soot-colored. 
There were columns at the 
front of it and in between each 
column there 'ivas an eyeless 
stone woman holding a pot on 
her head. A concrete band 
was over the columns and the 
letters, MVSEV M, were 
cut into it. Enoch was afraid to 
pronounce the word again. 

Flannery O'Connor 

There's a world of difference between 
Flannery O'Connor's fictitious soot-colored 
building and the checr\ warehoiise-on-the- 
wharf that houses the Boston Children's 
Museum. Eyeless stone women make way for 
bright banners bidding children to come and 
see what the celebration is about: and no child 
should stimiblc o\er the letters MUSEUM, 
which arc painted, not cut, onto the brick 

Since 1979, a major attraction and center- 
piece of the Boston t^hildren's Museum has 
been City Slice, a three-floor exhibit showing a 
\ictorian mansard cottage, street, and yard. 
On the ground floor, cross-section \ lews reveal 
the inner workings of gas, sewer, and telephone 

systems as thcv progress through a centurv of 
design. \ pair of manholes open for inspection 
adds to the fun. In Cirandfather's Basement, 
walls are lined with age-darkened tools and 
shelves are laden with \ intage name brands: 
Diiz C.ranulated Soap, Tintcx Ecru Curtain Dye, 
and AVhitcx ^Vonder Bluing. Nearby squat 
Grandmother's wringer-washer and a basin full 
of sudsy gray rinse water. 

I'pstairs in Grandmother's Kitchen, a 
cupboardful of unidentified antitpie objects 
consternates twentieth-century children and 
adults alike. Occasionally, a staff member is on 
hand to imlock the secrets of stamp boxes and 
buttonhooks, .\round the corner is the parlor, 
a room adults in particular appreciate for 
its comfortable plush-\elvet chairs. Period furni- 
ture, such as a freestanding terrarium and 
a windup \ictrola, lends authenticity to this 
turn-of-the-century den. .A tiny bedroom 
completes the second-floor portion of City Slice, 
but it is best \ iewed from outside the house. 
Through the framing, an observer takes in not 
only the crosscut mattress, but the entire 
cottage in all its skeletal splendor. 

Perhaps the most pleasing floor for children 
is Grandmother's .Attic, because nearly every 
piece on display, from hinge-top school desks to 
antiquated gowns and suit coats, is also for 
play. (Miraculously, every wrinkled, threadbare 
garment is returned to its trunk when 
dress-up is over.) 

The fun of climbing in and out of manholes: 
one for the seicer, another for telephone cables 
— just txco of the u'orking systems rei'ealed 
(left). Pliotonrapli by Steve Rosenthal. 

Grandparents' cellar, complete with coal 
furnace and lot of old gadgets to exf)lore 

ihrloxc). Photngrnjili b\ Strrr Rosenthal. 


The Boston Children's Museum 

Project Director: 
Elaine Heumann Gurian 

The City Slice exhibit was designed and 
supervised by Boston architect John Sloan. 
Funds from the Arts Endowment were used to 
help bring the house to its present state of 
deiibciate sciniconiplelion and to install a 
giaphirs s\stcm to assist guides in explaining 
the cutaway cottage, and the venerable tradi- 
tions housed within, to its young and growing 

rlir i>i)iri tit>ikhins of a f'iclorian cottage 
rn'ealed to delighted children who make them- 
seh'rs at home in the Boston Children's 
Mtneiim. Photogrnfth h\ Stei-e Rosenthal. 


John Sloan, AIA, architect and designer 

Sylvia Sawin. comprehensive developer and 

curator, Americana Program 

Dorothy Merrill, coordinator 

Alan Belts, construction chief 


Pawtucket's Pitcher-GofF mansion, a 
splendid example of Victorian architecture 
dating hack to the 1840s, is the proud home of 
the Children's Museiun of Rhode Island. It 
has also been the subject of a fierce charrette by 
architecture students at the Rhode Island 
School of Design (RISD) in Providence. In 
1978, with the help of an Arts Endowment 
grant, the Museum began planning for the 
adaptation of the mansion for exhibition and 
work space and for the expansion of its 
exhibitions and programs to include arts- 
related activities, such as artists' residencies and 
hands-on workshops for kids. Collaboration 
with a children's theater group seeking a 
permanent home is in progress. 

The RISD students have come up with a 
niuiihcr of imaginati\e proposals for the 
adaptation of the mansion to these design activi- 
ties. One student proposed that the mansion's 
carriage house be used as an arts complex to 
include working artists' studios open to the 
pidilic, a large arts workshop, and an outdoor 
performance area. This initial proposal was 
developed further by Morris Saks, a graduate 
student in architecture at RISD. 

Working from a feasibility study of the 
site. Saks proposed using the carriage house as a 
pciformance facility. New construction would 
jsertnit the Museum and theater group staffs to 
share workshop and fabrication facilities, 
as well as provide for an elc\ator to assist the 

Saks's study gave special consideration to 
ihe development of the Museum's groimds as a 
means of linking the existing buildings and 
creating an entrance that would help orient 
visitors. Plans for a grand staircase cut into 
the existing retaining wall would lead the 
visitor from a lower parking level to the land- 
scaped grounds above, recalling the mansion's 

Plans for a grand staircase cut 
into the existing retaining 
wall would lead the visitor 
from a lower parking level to 
the landscaped grounds above, 
recalling the mansion's 
former lily gardens. 

Rnidcring of proposed plan for the Children's 
Museum of Rhode Island developed by Rhode 
Island School of Design student. Drawing 
by Morris Saks. 

former lily gardens. New construction, including 
a gazebo, is planned to reflect the historic 
styles of the mansion and carriage house. 

.Architects' suggestions for future arts- 
related activities spawned a series of children'^ 
workshops designed to illuminate the Pitcher- 
Golf's unique architectural features. Children 
are gi\en a worksheet that asks them to find 
and sketch patterns hidden in the woodwork, 
look for traces of a long-gone fireplace, and 
examine the imported ceramic tiles mounted on 
the existing fireplaces. Museum staff is currently 
documenting the mansion's architectural 
features and planning an exhibit of the house 




! "'■ 

^-7 - 

The Children's Museum of Rhode Island 

Project Director: 
Kathleen Dwyer, museum designer 


Morris Saks, RISD, feasibility study and 

architectural drawing 

James Barnes, Professor of Architecture, RISD 

David Macaulay, consultant and author 

Morris Nathanson. consultant and architect 

Judy Sue Goodviryn-Sturges and 

Mahler Ryder, consultants, RISD 


G. A. M. E. • F O R • C H I L D R E N 

A museum where children can pet a snake, 
make a time capsule for the year 2080, track 
the "footprints" of evolution, or stand inside a 
giant six-foot "eye" and adjust strobe lights 
and lenses to change what they see is the Man- 
hattan Laboratory Museum. In a turn-of-thc- 
century renovated county courthouse, art and 
science are intertwined and exhibits are not 
locked inside glass cases, but set out to be 
touched and explored. 

The Museum is operated by G.A.M.E., Inc. 
(Growth Through Art and Museum E.xperi- 
ence) , founded in 1973 as a one-woman 
operation by Bette Korman, an artist teaching 
in the New York public school system. Korman 
wanted to make art less remote from other 
subjects and to encourage children to discover 
their own talents directly. "C:hildren's 
experiences in museums tend to be fragments 
unrelated to their classroom work. Objects 
are isolated from their natural and cultural 
contexts, making it difficult for students to 
fully understand their meaning." 

The success of the participatory museum 
in its first fi\e years — it now serves more 
than three thousand children from nine Man- 
hattan schools with a number of arts programs 
and after-school workshops — led the organi- 
zation to seek more space than its two renovated 
storefronts provided. With the aid of a grant 
from the National Endowment for the Arts, the 
Museum commissioned a feasibility study and 
designer for the renovation of a Midtown 
courthouse built in 1890. A subsequent match- 
ing grant enabled G..A.M.E. to solicit funds 
for the rehabilitation of the structure and to 
open in the fall of 1979 as an expanded 
community arts and museum resource center, 
while retaining the distinction of being the 
only museum in New York conceived specifically 
for children. 

In a turn-of-the-century reno- 
vated county courthouse, 
art and science are inter- 
twined and exhibits are set out 
to be touched and explored. 

A collection of historicnl. traditional, and 
theatrical masks lent to the Majthattan Labora- 
tory Museum by various galleries and collectors 
as part of the theme "Transformations." 
Photograph by Helen Silverstein. 

G.A.M.E. Inc./ Manhattan Laboratory Museum 

Project Director: 
Bette Korman, executive director and codesigner 

Anthony Zunino, AIA, codesigner; 
Bill Studdiford; Fred Papert; Patricia Zedalis; 

Mike Baikin; 42nd Street Redevelopment 

Corporation; Carol Tolan; Winnifred Bendiner; 

Ray Mendez; Matt Phair; Mark Daley; Gail Tipton; 

Helen Silverstein; John Howe; Enrico Giordono; 

Jay Brady; Julia Keydel; Erica Mapp 


Back in the early 1940s, a young woman 
in Detroit had an idea too gooil to keep to her- 
self. She assembled some thirty like-minded 
adults and their children in her home to dis- 
cuss the formation of a young people's cultural 
organization to encourage attendance at 
concerts, plays, and art exhibitions. In the years 
to come, Josephine Love's original idea grew 
to encompass participatory workshops in 
puppetry, theater, music, and visual arts con- 
ducted by leaders in the arts in Detroit. One 
such prominent artist, Gwendolyn Hogue, 
joined Mrs. Love in 1969 to establish Your 
Heritage House, a fine-arts museum for the 
youth of inner-citv Detroit. 

Unlike many children's 
museums, which have pro- 
grams that may embrace 
several disciplines. Your 
Heritage House focuses solely 
on the arts. 

Unlike many children's museums, which 
have programs that may embrace several 
disciplines — history, science. scKial studies, and 
crafts — Your Heritage House focuses solely 
on the arts. Youngsters are teamed with profes- 
sional artists in an environment that encourages 
creative potential and spontaneous participa- 
tion in the visual and performing arts. 

The capacity of Your Heritage House to 
serve its youth is threefold. .\s a museum, it 
boasts a permanent and growing collection 
of antique dolls, puppets, toys, and other arti- 
facts and artwork from all over the world, 
many of which were acquired by Josephine Love 
during her tours as a concert pianist and 
music scholar. .As a library, it contains more 
than fifty thousand publications and documents, 
constituting a clearinghouse for dance, the 
media, and art for youth, with an especially 
fine black .\mcrican culture component. As 
an experimental center for creative endeavor, 
Y'our Heritage House offers studio classes in 
ceramics, \ isual arts, filmmaking, music, and 


ilancc; holds seminars aiul conferences; and 
stages live performances. 

After years of service to the youth of 
Detroit, Your Heritage House obtained assis- 
tance from the Arts Endowment in 1973 to 
develop a jirototype for a small museum of fine 

I'Inn vifw of Your Heritage House in Detroit 
designed by Joseph A'. Wills v Associates. 
Photograph by \emo Warr. 

arts for children. For a ])eriod not to exceed 
one year, Your Heritage House was to serve as 
an obser\ation post, experimental workshop, 
and design center. I^mbracing Josephine Love's 
original iiiea. the program was to be grounded 
in interaction between children and adults. 
Joseph \S'ills, a New York architect and former 
resident of Detroit, was chosen to coordinate 
acti\ities and create the final product: a model 
for a musemn having the capacity to retain 
its vitalitv for \cars to come. 

Presently, the building site for Your 
Heritage House is being landscaped to accom 
modate a children's park and outdoor arts 
laboratory under a grant from the Micliigan 
(Council for the Ail-.. 

Your Heritage House offers a complete 
jirogram in the fine and performing arts to 
Detroit cliildren. Pholograf)h courtesy of 
Your Heritage House. 

Your Heritage House 

Joseph N. Wills & Associates, consultants 

Project Director: 
Josephine Harreld Love, director 


To reaffirm its commitment to 
the community, Appalshop 
chose a site in the city's down- 
town area, a forty-year-old 
masonry and steel ^varehouse. 

N'estlcil in the .\ppalachian mountains of 
Kentucky is a media arts center httingly called 
•Appalshop. 0\er the past decade, .Appalshop 
has brought recording, theater, photogra])hy, 
and print scr\ices to the citi/cns of W'hilcsburg. 
a small coal-mining communitv of Irish and 
Scotch-Irish descent. Following World War II, 
Whitesburg suffered the decimation endemic 


to inan\ small towns; not until the early 1970s, 
with the ad\ ent of the Arab oil embargo, did 
the town enjoy a resurgence in population, 
thanks to the natural resource it ])ossesses in 

Its public programming on the upswing, 
Appalshop obtained a Research and Design 
(.rant from the National Endowment for the 
Ai ts in 1978 for the expansion of its facilities. 
I () rcafhrm its commitment to the community, 
.\ppalshop chose a site in the city's downtown 
area, a forty-year-old masonry and steel ware- 
house. Designs were de\ eloped for conversion of 
the building to a media arts center, incorpo- 
rating office, production, and storage .space for 

all phases of the organization's operations: 
.\ppalshoj) Films, June A[)pal Records, Nfoun- 
tain Photography \Vori<shop, Mountain Review 
magazine, and the Roadside Theater. 

The .Arts Endowment grant was the first 
money invested as a cornerstone support for tlie 
])roject, enabling .\ppalshop to attiact larger 
funding sources to implement the design. The 
renovation called for an insulated exterior 
covered with rough-cut cedar siding, with an 
interior wall of drvwall, glass, and exposed 
brick. Natural lighting was achic\ed through 
skylights, a facet of the facility's passive-solar 

^Vith construction nearly complete, 
Whitcsburg's citizens will soon have access to 
a wide assortment of facilities: a 150-seat 
theater, gallery and lobby, and a screening room 
and darkroom. A thri\ ing community sounding 
board, -\ppalshop ensures the voice of 
.\ppalachia will lie heard. 

Appdhiinji's new mt'diii arts facility, forrnerix 
a masonry and steel icarehoiise in Whitesburg, 
Kentucky. Draining by Richardson Associates, 

Appalshop, Inc. 


William Richardson, architect 

Jane Gianvito and Patti Glazer, associates 

Appalshop Building Committee: Amelia Pickering, 

Don Baker, Dudley Wilson, Dee Davis 

Proiect Director: 

Martin Newell, chairman, Appalshop 

Building Committee 


In a tundra-carpeted forest of spruce trees 
gray with lichen, the campus of the Haystack 
Mountain .School of Crafts rambles gracefully to 
the coast's edge on Deer Isle. Maine. This 
wooden village with high, pitched roofs and 
stairways descending to the sea provides space 
for eighty artists from all over the world to 
work intensely during the school's simimer 
series of workshops in various craft media. 
.'Vided by a grant from the National Endowment 
for the .\rts, the school obtained the services 
of its original architect, Edward Larrabee 
Barnes, for the design of a bold new addition to 
the campus: the Haystack Gateway. 

From amphitheater to gallery, 
the building encourages 
informality and intimacy. 

The school building, which had not been 
expanded for fifteen years, needed extensive 
additional meeting and gallery space that could 
accommodate students and the public in new 
ways without conflicting with regular summer 
programming. It also needed a building appro- 
priate to its unique natural and physical 
environment. Encompassed by a circular four- 
acre woodland, a l.SOOsquare-foot, modestly 
insulated gallery/forum and an outdoor 

amphitheater, each seating one hundred people, 
were formally dedicated on June 7, 1980. Funds 
for construction were obtained from private 

Barnes's design for the Haystack Gateway 
resulted in a building that fits with the site, 
environment, and purpose of the school. From 
amphitheater to gallery, the building en- 
courages informality and intimacy while 
maintaining an elegance that supports formal 
gallery openings and performances. It enables 
the school to accommodate new services 
involving up to eighty participants without 
conflicting with its regular summer workshop 


series. The campus can now be used for con- 
ferences in the spring and fall; and throughout 
this extended season, gallery exhibits and 
evening slide programs, concerts, and special 
performances are a\ailable to both students 
and the public. The addition of the Gateway 
adds significantly to the school's ability to meet 
the needs of a growing and diverse community 
of crafts people. I.iniabce lianies's H(i\slack Mountain 
School of Crafts at Deer Isle, Maine, with the 
Gateway addition shown at top of drawing. 
Drawing by Edward Larrabee Barnes. 

Haystack Mountain School ol Crafts 

Proiect Direao' 
Howard M. Evans, director 

Jack Lenor Larsen, chairman, board of trustees 

Edward Larrabee Barnes, architect 
David W. Cheever, associate architect, trustee 


Cornish Institute, one of less than a handful 
of indepenilent colleges teaching the arts, is 
located on Seattle's Clapitol Hill in a well- 
populated residential neighborhood close to 
the city's downtown commercial center, the 
University of Washington, and Seattle Center. 
When the Institute received full accreditation 
in 1977, the Northwest .Association of Schools 
and Colleges sounded a warning that "crowded 
and obsolete facilities are the chief bar to any 
further development of this institution." 

The Institute had outgrown its main 
facility, a Spanish-style building with stuccoed 
walls and Moorish arches dating from 1921 
and listed on the National Register of Historic 
Places. Cornish supplemented this space with a 
variety of inadequate studios rented at incon- 
venient locations — some more than a mile from 

Cornish received full accredi- 
tation in 1977, with the 
warning that "crowded and 
obsolete facilities are the chief 
bar to any further develop- 
ment of this institution." 

the main building. Scattered and inadequate 
space limited the Institute's enrollment and 
strained relations between departments sharing 
ciamped quarters. .Scheduling problems arose 
from the need to give students and faculty 
extra time for travel between classes. .\s 
inadequate space began to dominate the opera- 
tion of the school, it also threatened quality 
of instruction. 

Cornish Institute 


Arthur Skolnik, David Nemens 

Review committee: Melvin Strauss, Jack Morse, 

Robert J. Block, Eric Berkeley, Jonathan Ballard 

^Vith a grant from the National Endow- 
ment for the .Arts, Cornish Institute undertook 
a study to explore the feasibility of expanding 
to one of more than twenty sites near the main 
building. .After examining all possible sites, 
the study consultants recommended that the 
Institute acquire the Lakeside Middle School, 
located fi\e blocks from the campus. This addi- 
tion provides the Institute with 34,000 square 
feet of land with a potential for new con- 
struction on 12,000 square feet. Designed in 
192.") by the distinguished architects Bebb and 
Could, the Jacobean building is a likely 
candidate for the National Register. 

The Northwest Foundation provided a 
grant to assist the Institute in acquiring the 
Lakeside property, and in November 1980 a 
purchase agreement was signed. The Institute 
will occupv the building, destined to house 
its theater, art and design departments, the 
library, and art gallery, no later than August 
1982. ' 

At present, the Institute is planning a 
fundraising dri\e for the purchase. reno\ation, 
antl maintenance of the Lakeside Middle 
School. Following its plan, C:ornish Institute 
will more than double its usable space and 
begin taking steps toward additional long-tenn 
institutional de\elopment. 

The Lakeside Middle School, a Jacobean 
building designed in 1925 by architects Bebb 
and Gould, will accommodate Cornish 
Institute's expanded arts program. Photograph 
courtesy of Cornish Institute. 

Prciect Director 
David Shaw, vice-president for college relations 




One of the nation's most dramatic responses 
to the cultural awakening that has occurred in 
America o\ cr the past decade and a half is the 
arts park that has been proposed for the 
Sepulveda Dam Basin in Los Angeles. Matching 
funds from the Arts Endowment and the city 
of Los Angeles were awarded to the San 
Fernando \'alley Arts Council to develop a 
master plan for the park. Architect Frank O. 
Gehry and landscape architect Lawrence 
Halprin were commissioned to develop the plan. 

Halprin and Gehry worked with a task 
force of technical advisors from the city, visual 
and performing artists, community leaders, and 
acoustician Christopher Jaffe to de\elop a 
design for the eighty-acre site owned by the 
U.S. .\rmy Corps of Engineers and leased to the 
city of Los .Angeles. The area, to be developed 
as an urban park, includes a twenty-acre lake 
with waterfall, a 2,500-seat theater, artists' 
factories, an artist communication center, an 
amphitheater, dance glens, and a food pavilion. 

The entire site will be land- 
scaped to preserve a parklike 

San Fernando Valley Arts Council 

Protect Director: 
Joan Newberg, executive director 


Frank O. Gehry, architect 

Lawrence Halprin, landscape architect 

Christopher Jaffe, acoustician/ program planner 

Government agencies: Department of Recreation 

and Parks. James E. Hadav^ay, general manager; 

Department of Cultural Affairs, Rodney Punt, 

assistant general manager; Office of Mayor Tom 

Bradley, Dodo Meyer, administrative coordinator; 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Col. Gwynn league, 

Los Angeles District 

Theaters, galleries, workshops, and studios are 
complemented by informal outdoor perfor- 
mance, exhibition, and work spaces. The entire 
site will be landscaped to preserve a parklike 

The plan has been approved in concept 
and has successfully undergone an environ- 
mental impact review. Community and business 
leaders have formed a Cultural Society Founda- 
tion to assist in fundraising. Project planners 
are ready to begin the program, design, and 
engineering as soon as funds have been secured. 

Iji litis plan for Arts Park, theaters, galleries, 
•iforkshops, and studios are interspersed ever 
eighty acres in the Sepulveda River Basiii of the 
Sa}i Fernando Valley. Drawing by Lawrence 



I - ? 






In the early 1800s, what is now East 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, was an island sur- 
rounded by marshland. It had served the British 
as the starting point for their march to Lexing- 
ton and Concord, and in 1811 it became one of 
the first large-scale speculative real estate under- 
takings in the United States when the Lechmere 
Point Corporation began industrial develop- 
ment of the area. By the end of the nineteenth 
century, landfill projects had cjuadrupled the 
available land and East Cambridge was a 
bustling industrial and residential neighbor- 
hood with furniture-and soa|)-manufacturing 
concerns springing up on newly created land- 
fill and with a railroad, a canal, and two large 
county court buildings. Successive waves of 
immigration brought Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, 
Polish, and Portuguese workers into the area; 
their cottages and houses remain today excellent 
examples of the vernacular architecture of 
the mid-nineteenth century. 

Today, this historic section of Cambridge 
remains an island. No longer encircled by 
water, it is surrounded instead by blighted 
industrial land. Its original tie to the Charles 
River through a magnificent park planned by 
famed landscape architect Charles Eliot was 
severed when the city sold the land to 
developers in 1950, and its phvsical environ- 
ment diminished. In the past twenty years, 
what was once a major industrial area has seen 
shifts in land use and the continual erosion of 
its industrial base. 

Two of the area's most historically and 
architecturally significant public buildings have 
been vacant for several years: the Clerk of 
Courts Building, designed by Olin Cutter and 
Robert Wait in 1887, and, connected to it by 
an enclosed colonnade, the Old Superior 
Courthouse, built in 1814 from plans by Charles 
Bulfinch, the architect of the Capitol in 
Washington, D.C., and Boston's State House and 
Faneuil Hall, and redesigned in 1848 by 
•Ammi Young. 

In 1977 the newly foniied Cambridge 
Multicultural .Arts ("enter inet with the city's 
Community Development Department to con- 
duct site surveys. The city selected the court- 
houses as potential arts facilities and included 
plans for their preservation and adaptation as 
the centerpiece in a far larger program to 
revitalize East C ambridge. That plan adds 
riverfront, parkland, housing, retail, and com- 
mercial development and improves roadwavs 
and pidjlic transportation. Then, with a 
needs-assessment survey and support from the 
Cambridge -Arts Council, the newly incorporated 
nonprofit Center sought funding for pro- 
fessional feasibililv studies. 

In 1978, a grant from the National Endow- 
ment for the .\rts enabled the Arts Center to 
take an important first step toward adapting a 
portion of the courthouse buildings for use 
as arts space by commissioning Jules Fisher 
.Associates, a nationally prominent theater and 
exhibition design firm, to assist in developing 

Today, this historic section 
of Cambridge remains an 
island. No longer encircled by 
water, it is smTOunded 
instead by blighted industrial 

The reports were integrated into plans 
created by the .Arts Center's architect and 
developer, Graham Gund, for restoring the 
buildings' original architectural integrity, their 
use as a cultural center, and the conversion 
of portions into offices, a restaurant, and retail 

lllii-illiiil Areas presently under study 

lllllllllll Proposed Motional Register Historic District 

^^^ Roadways and or sideu^alks slated for 
improvement utilizing block grant funds 
y/////// Extension of Mass Transit 
iTl Possible station locations 

a design scheme for the facility. The firm's 
research stutlies included specifications for light- 
ing, soimd. staging, and production equipment 
for cable television, theater ])resentations. 
exhibitions, and other public programs; design 
recommendations for support spaces; engineer- 
ing reports; and a market study estimating 
operating costs and outlining sources of 
auiiience revenue. 

shops. The city of Cambridge included the 
plans for the .Arts Center in a successful pro- 
posal for a forty-acre East Cambridge River- 
front Rev italization project prepared for the 
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD) . The Urban Develop- 
ment .Action Grant, awarded by HUD to the 
city in 1978, included funds for the restoration 
of the courthouse buildings. The plan for 
Bulfinch Square, as the U-shaped complex is 
now called, includes commercial and retail 
space in the cultural complex. 

Construction on Bulfinch Square is 
scheduled to begin in November of 1981 and 
to be completed in 1983. The arts complex will 
comprise a two-hundred-seat, flexible-use 
theater with adjacent classrooms, dressing 
rooms, technical production rooms, and storage 
areas. The complex will also house an exhibi- 
tion gallery, a inedia and archive room, 
administrative offices, an outdoor performance 
area seating five hundred people, and common 


lobby areas for pcrfortiiaiiccs anil exhibitions. 
The Miilticulliirai Arts Center, wliich is already 
engaged in several [jrograniining activities, 
will present a season of performances, exhibi- 
tions, and workshops and assist other citv 
groups in (he presentation of their own 

Throughout 1980. the (amhridge Multi- 
cultural Arts Center negotiated an ingenious 
plan that will secure its long-term financial 
viability as a cultural facility. A development 
agreement w^ilh the architectural firm. Graham 
Gund Associates, will give the Arts Center a 
fully reno\aied and equipped facilitv and rental 
and operating endowments as a challenge for 
other contributions. A tax agreement with the 
city of Caiid)ridge will enable the .\rts Center 
to share in the prosperity of the commercial 
aspect of the project and co\er its operating 
costs. The scope of this project and the innova- 
tive way in which the .-^rts Center has been 
integrated financially, as well as program- 
matically, into a large development project 
provides an exciting model for others. 

West elci'ation of Bulfinch Square, 
Cambridge. Massaclmsetls. Drawing by Graham 
(iinid Associates. 

Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center 

Protect Director 
David Kronberg, executive director 


Graham Gund Associates, architect and developer 

Cambridge Arts Council, fiscal agent 

City of Cambridge. Community 

Development Department, planner 

Jules Fisher Associates, theater and exhibition 

design consultants 

Massachusetts Council on the Arts and 

Humanities, technical assistance funding 

Community Service Fund of the Massachusetts 

Institute of Technology, volunteer consulting 

and funding 

Middlesex County Commissioners 


• ON-THE ' 


Galveston, Texas, is one of the places 
where small grants from the National F.ndow- 
ment for the Arts have sparked multimillion- 
ilollar reinvestments that have revitalized the 
economy of a culturally important but 
neglected tiistrict. 

Rewards to the city and 
citizens include an expanded 
awareness of the role of the 
arts in an urban setting. 

In the early 1970s the National Endowment 
for the .Arts awarded several grants totaling 
560,000 to the Galveston County Cultural .Arts 
Council and the Galveston Historical Founda- 
tion to consider the economic and legal feasibil- 
ity of con\erting several blocks of outstanding 

Iron columns of the restored Moody Bank 
Building on Galveston's Strand. The bank, 
n<fiicli liouses the Strand Surplus Center, is one 
of many buildings restored for commercial 
use. Pliotogrnph by Richard Tichich. 

A Jojlrev Ballet class on Tlie Strand, sponsored 
by the Galveston County Cultural Arts Council 
for local residents. Pholograpli courtesy of 
Galveston Counlv Cultural .Arts Council. 


nineteenth-century commercial buildings on 
The Strand (once known as the Wall Street of 
the Southwest) into arts facilities, apartments, 
professional offices, shops, and restaurants. 
One of these grants enabled the Historical 
Foundation, with the help of architects X'enturi, 
Ranch, and Scott Brown, to de\elop an action 
plan for The Strand. The studies led to the 
establishment of a pri\ately endowed revolving 
fund to help purchase historic Strand buildings 
in danger of being torn down. Today the 
revohing fund, managed by the Galveston 
Historical Foundation, has assets of S335,000. 
Preservation efforts were further enhanced by 
a S200.000 Challenge Grant awarded by the 
.\rts Endowment in 1980. 

Exentually the city and pri\ate in\estors 
caught on to the \alne of the undeveloped 
treasure the historic buildings represented and 
followed the lead of the .Arts Council and the 
Historical Foundation. Now more than twentv 
structures have been restored and S6 million 
in private money has been in\ested in turning 
the historic buildings to profit-making uses. 
.An additional S7 million in pri\ate in\estment 
is in progress, as is SI4 million in nonprofit 
development. .\ number of visual arts and 
performing arts groups ha\ e set up head- 
quarters on The Strand, and the .Arts Council 
itself maintains two establishments there for 
gallery space and arts classes and exhibitions. In 
addition, the Council has already put S4 million 
toward the rehabilitation of the 1894 Grand 
Opera House and is tiding to raise another 
.■55 million to complete the job. 

The .Arts Council's and the Historical 
Foundation's tenacious belief that the arts and 
historic preser\ation could help restore 
economic and cultural \itality to The Strand 
has finallv borne fruit. Rewards to the city and 
citizens include an expanded awareness of the 
role of the arts in an urban setting, decreased 
crime and decay in the old downtown, tax 
revenues that have tripled between 1976 and 
1980, and healthy profits from a lively tourist 


Galveston Historical Foundation, Inc. 

Galveston County Cultural Arts Council, Inc. 

Project Directors: 
Peter H. Brink, executive director, 

Galveston Historical Foundation 

Emily Whiteside, executive director, 

Galveston County Cultural Arts Council 


Denise Scott Brown, Venturi, Rauch 

and Scott Brown 

Tersh Boasberg, attorney 

Robert Timme, Taft Architects 

Evangeline L. Whorton. vice-president, programs, 

Galveston Historical Foundation 
Drew Boggs and James R. Foutch, vice-presidents, 

revolving fund 

Galveston financial institutions, businesspeople, 

investors, donors, and volunteers 

City of Galveston 

Trustees and staff. Moody Foundation 

Trustees and staff, Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund 

Ronald Fleming, executive director. Vision, Inc. 

Ben Mason, economic consultant 

Arthur Zeigler, Jr., executive director, Pittsburgh 

History and Landmark Foundation 

Lee Adier, chairman of the board, 

National Trust for Historic Preservation 

Ned Bowman, U.S. Institute of Theater Technicians 

Walter P. Moore, consultant 

Artist's conception of Galveston's 1894 Grand 
Opera House and Hotel. The opera house 
auditorium will be used as a live performing arts 
hall; the adjacent hotel zcill comprise resi- 
dences, meeting rooms, and commercial space. 
Drazring courtesy of Hardy Hohman Pfeifjer 



.A performing arts district is being created in 
San .Antonio, Texas, as a way to re\ italize a 
somewhat seedy downtown, pro\ iding a counter- 
point to the newly landscaped Ri\ er Walk 
nearby. The development plan for the district, 
funded in part by the National Endowment for 
the .Arts, calls for the reno\ ation of a city block 
that encompasses old theaters and office and 
retail space. The theaters can house the 
symphony orchestra and thirteen other perform- 
ing arts groups; the renovated office buildings 
will contain rehearsal and production studios, 
scenery and costume shops, classrooms, and 
office space. .A large new parking garage will be 

The development plan calls 
for the renovation of a city 
block that encompasses old 
theaters and office and 
retail space. 

Arts Council of San Antonio 

Project Directors: 
Robert Canon and Robert Brannigan 


Brannigan-Lorelli Associates 

Ford, Powell and Carson 

Arcop Associates 

connected to one of the theaters, the Majestic, 
by a new public galleria. Three other theaters 
nearby will eventually be renovated and 
incorporated into the arts district. 

The estimated $20 million needed to 
revitalize the block will be raised locally from 
public and private sources. To date, design 
sketches for the galleria and parking garage 
have been submitted to the city for approval 
and 510 million in general obligation bonds will 
finance construction. Pace Management, which 
has leased the Majestic Theater, has committed 
.SI million for interior restoration, scheduled 
to be completed this fall. Negotiations are in 
progress to acquire the remaining land parcels. 


Arm filan for the perjnrming arts district nf 
Sail Antonio, with ineirs of neifrlihnrinz Empire 
(Irftj and Majestic theaters. Drawing by 
liranniiian-Lorelli Associates Inc. 

'iM itf- 


Lowell, Massachusetts, was created by 
American industrialists in 1822 as a model 
Utopian industrial community, where the 
women who worked in the mills were taught 
drama, music, poetry, and crafts; its motto, 
"Art is the handmaiden of the human good." 
Lowell flourished as a progressive industrial 
community until ticwly organi/etl labor in the 
North and an enormous pool of cheap labor 
freed by the Clivil War drove the textile 
industry south. \\'ith the collapse of the weav- 
ing industry, Art was all but forgotten in 

Thus the historic niilltown languished, 
economically depressed and lacking any cultural 
or arts facilities — despite is iniiquc beginnings 
and large and varied population composed of 
the many ethnic groups who immigrated to 
work in the factories: Greeks, Puerto Ricans, 
Portuguese, Armenians, French Canadians, 
American Indians. I'hen in 1972, as part of a 
major effort to revitalize the venerable mill- 
town, Lowell's Human Services Corporation 
obtained a grant from the National Endowment 
for the Arts. The grant enabled the organiza- 
tion to hire Boston architects Michael and 
Susan Southworth to develop plans for a com- 
munity facility that would meet Lowell's needs 
for cultural enrichment and ensure the sur\i\al 
of its most important historic structure, Boott 
Mill, a textile mill built on the Merrimack 
River in 183."). The original buildings and all 
subsetiiient additions were intact and showed 
clearly the evolution of the textile mill and the 
generation of mill power. 

A nineleciith-cenlury view of Boott Mill's 
courtyard. Hell tower is visible in the back- 
ground. Photograj)}! courtesy nf Society for 
the Presenintion of New England Antiquities. 

With the collapse of the 
weaving industry, Art was all 
but forgotten in Lowell. 


The Southwoith plan, the only project to 
receive Progressive Architecture's top design 
award in 1974, proposed the restoration of 
750,000 scjuare feet of floor space, two major 
courtyards, and the mill's clock-and-bell tower 
for an innovati\e mix of commercial, resi- 
dential, and cultural facilities that became a 
model for achieving economically viable cultural 
facilities. The complex, which is to be sup- 
ported by rental income from shops, offices, 
apartments, and a hotel, will contain arts work- 
shops and exhibit galleries, a library, concert 
hall, theater, dance studio, small cinema, 
lecture room, rehearsal rooms, and a roofed 
galleria. Ethnic art and music festixals, as well 
as outdoor theater performances, will be held 
in one of the courtyards. Low-cost artists' 
studios and apartments are part of the plan. 

The Southworth design was conceived as 
the first step in a larger scheme for Lowell's 
economic revitalization. Boott Mill Center is the 
focus for the Lowell National Historical Park, 
created by an act of Congress in 1978 to be an 
"industrial Williamsburg." Forty million 
dollars has been appropriated to implement 
this legislation. When completed, the Park will 
have rehabilitated a number of historic 
buildings, such as Lowell's Old City Hall, and 
uncovered the mills, gates, locks, and more than 
fi\e miles of canals dating from the early 
nineteenth century that constitute the city's 
greatest historical and recreational resource. In 
addition, the .\merican City Corporation 
recently announced plans to undertake a SI 10 
million program to revitalize downtown 
Lowell, including the reuse of the old mills, 
following Boott Mill's lead. 

\orlh elevation, Boott Mill cultural center. 
Drnifimr b\ Southicorth J,- Southuorth. 

The Soulliirorth plan casts Boott Mill as a 
cultural, commercial, and residential center. 
Draxvin" by Southworth i- Southworth. 

Human Services Corporation 

Project Director: 
Susan Southworth 


Michael and Susan Southworth, 

project architects and planners 

Pat Mogan, director. Human Services Corporation 

Many community participants 

memmack m^ 



The innovative Baltimore Theatre Project 
has been operating since 1971 as a nonprofit 
community performing arts center in Baltimore's 
rapidly developing cultural district, the Mt. 
Royal Center, where the Maryland Institute, the 
University of Baltimore, and the Lyric Theatre 
are located and where a new SIj million con- 
cert hall for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 
is being constructed. 

.\ S15,000 grant from the .Arts Endowment 
matched by the William G. Baker Fund has 
enabled the experimental theater group to 
finance an architectural and capital de\elop- 
ment plan for a S2 million, 24,000-square-foot 

The plan has provided the 
credibility needed to obtain 
additional funding. 

Baltimore Theatre Project, Inc. 

Project Director: 
Philip Arnoult 

Associate directors: Ben F. Carney, Carol Baish, 

John Strausbaugh 
Carol Moore, architect. LaPicki I Smith Associates 

Theodore Rosenberg, Twin Oaks Associates 
Albert De Salvo, Multi-Family Housing Services, Inc. 

expansion of their facilities. The plan calls 
for the preser\ation of the theater's historically 
significant structures, expansion of its services, 
extension of the performance season year- 
round, and investment in a cabaret to finance 
the theater's SI million annual operating 
expenses. The plan has also pro\ ided the cred- 
ibility needed to obtain additional funding for 
a market feasibility study for the cabaret and 
the basis for negotiating the purchase of 
several Mt. Ro\al townhouses adjacent to the 
main facility. Renovation of the expanded 
facilities is scheduled to begin this fall. 




Four hundred arts events were occurring 
montlily in a handful of alnindonctl military 
warehouses in a superb location on San Fran- 
cisco Bay when the four-year-old and higliiy 
successful Fort Mason Clenter began looking for 
a dramatic but economical renovation scheme 
for the building complex. 

In 1976. the Fort .Mason Foundation, 
working with the National Park Service, began 
the job of cieating a \ ibrant cultural center out 
of the abandoned warehouse and asphalt yard 
of an old waterfront luiiitary facility located 
within Golden (iate National Recreation .Area. 
The Foundation's success attests to the city's 
need for art space: three piers and four large 
warehouses plus a few smaller structures now 

I-Ort Mason (forefront), on San Francisco Ba\. 
Photograph courtesy of Fort Mason Foundation. 

Grant money and encouragement from the 
National Endowment for the .Arts prompted 
Fort Mason Foundation to hold a design 
competition for the development of a master 
plan. With professional assistance from Cali- 
fornia architect and ])Ianncr William Liskamm, 
the Foundation de\eloped a program and 
disseminated information about the competi- 
tion throughout northern California. Eighty 
design firms res|)onded with letters of interest 
and statements of qualifications. Eight out- 

Eighty design firms responded 
to the competition ^vith 
letters of interest and state- 
ments of qualifications. 

mously chose a design bv architects Robinson. 
Mills and Williams in collaboration with 
landscape architects SW'.A Group. Each team 
participating in the competition was awarded 
a 51.000 honorarium. 

The Fort Mason Foundation was thrilled 
with the outcome of the competition and 
believes that the \alue of professional service 
received during the thrcc-dav charrette was 
ten to fifteen times the S8,000 honoraria paid. 
Considering as well the art center's exposure 
to a new audience and the interest raised among 
the resident organizations and the public, the 
competition was a resounding success. 

During the next se\cral months. SW'A 
Group and Robinson. Mills and Williams 

Model of Robinson, Mills and Williams's 
vinning entry in the Fort Mason design comf)e- 
tition. Photograph by Jeanne Milligan. 

house approximately forty-five of the Bay .Area's 
most active nonprofit arts and cultural organi- 
zations. .Approximately fi\e hundred com- 
nnuiity groups sponsor programs in visual and 
performing arts, the environment, health, 
recreation, and the huirianities. .A tightly 
scheduled calendar keeps the site bustling all 
(lav and well into the night. 

Such continuous activity was hound to 
cause growing pains. Buildings needed to be 
repaired and reno\ated and some spaces adapted 
to the requirements of particular performing 
arts groups. The grounds were either an 
imaesthetic plane of lifeless asphalt or an 
ocean of cars. These and other problems, 
together with the continual growth of the 
Center, necessitated a coherent, realistic archi- 
tectural master plan. 

standing teams of architects, landscape archi- 
tects, transportation specialists, and energy 
consultants were chosen to come to Fort Mason 
to participate in a three-day design charrette. 
The question they would focus on: How can 
Fort Mason Center be best organized, designed, 
and developed to become a visually appealing 
and smoothly functioning cultural center? 

Fifty professionals on the eight teams set 
up shop in one of the renovated warehouse 
buildings. .All the teams worked within the one 
space, where they talked freqiientlv with 
resident arts groups and the public. On the 
evening of the third day of the charrette, work 
was stopped, a reception was held for all the 
participants, and the teams began to make 
their presentations to the professional jury 
gathered to select a winner. The jury unani- 

worked with the Fort Mason Foundation to 
further develop their ideas and some of those 
presented bv the other seven competitors. 
The final cost of renovating Fort >rason Center 
is estimated to be S") million. Renovation will 
proceed incrcmcntallv as fimds become 

Fort Mason Foundation 

Proiecl Director 
Marc Kasky. executive director, Fort Mason Center 


William K. Liskamm, FAIA, AlCP. advisor 

Fort Mason Center Facilities Committee 

Lynn Thompson, superintendent. Golden Gate 

National Recreation Area 




The transformation of New York's Bronx 
River from AVeslchester County to the East River 
into a nature, recreation, and cultural area with 
almost S40 million worth of impro\ements has 
been proposed bv Bronx River Restoration, 
Inc., a not-for-profit action and planning 
corporation that has become the moving force 
behind the cleanup and linear park develop- 
ment of the river. 

.\ small grant from the National Endow- 
ment for the .Arts helped fund the plan. .\ 
second grant helped finance a film that docu- 
ments the events, encounters, and responses 
of Bronx residents who were stimulated in the 
course of constructing a rixerside minipark 
and the En\ ironmental .\rts Center recom- 
mended in the plan. The film recei\ed a letter 
of award from the .American Film Festival in 
June of 1981. 

Although only twenty miles long, the 
Bronx River encompasses the \ariety, problems, 
and potential of a large regional river. The 
developers hope that creating a multiple-use 
linear park along the river corridor will spark 
the same kind of urban-renewal activitv that 
has occurred along the River AValk in San 
.Antonio-, Texas. To this end, the Bronx Ri\er 
restoration plan calls for de\elopment of a 
mini-.Appalachian Trail, a museum, a craft 
shop, theaters, and athletic fields and the 
restoration of an historic water mill. There will 
be picnicking, canoeing, and fishing; and to 
make all this activit\ possible, there will be 
clean water. 

Cultural activities will provide one of the 
mainstays of the ri\er re\ italization. The 

Bronx River Restoration Project, Inc. 

There will be picnicking, 
canoeing, and fishing; and to 
make all this activity possible, 
there will be clean water. 

Environmental Arts Center is already operating 
and is expanding its programs rapidly to pro- 
\ide additional services. Its immediate con- 
stituency of ten thousand is expected to grow- 
as surrounding communities learn of its 
program offerings. The Center is located in a 
city-owned building adjacent to the newly 
completed minipark at \Vest Farms in the 
Bronx. The building also serves as a field office 
for river cleanup operations, a workshop, and 
a planning center. Furniture for the minipark 


Staff: Betty Wilde, director. Environmental 

Arts Center: Lisa Neal: Michael Diaz; 

Norma Torres; Marcel Woolery, Sr.; Dareen Agard 

Richard Stein, The Stein Partnership, 

consulting architect 

Larry Rosenblum and Michael Rubin, filmmakers 

YACC enrollees: Gwyneth Bialo. Freddie Farmer, 

Gil Rios 

was produced in the workshop by neighborhood 
youths who benefited from the project by 
learning new trade skills. 

Other facilities in the Environmental Arts 
Center include a silk-screen shop, photographic 
darkrooms, and an art gallerv. Eventually the 
entire building will be developed into a com- 
munity arts, crafts, drama, and dance center, 
servicing the Outdoor Riverbanks Theatre. 
The Theatre, scheduled for construction later 
this year just south of the park, will offer 
outdoor concerts, plays, and river spectacles. 
.Another city-owned building directly across the 
river from the park is slated eventually to 
become a "cultural warehouse" offering studios 
to practicing professional artists, craftspersons, 
musicians, and drama groups. Neighborhood 
residents will be able to visit working artists. .A 
small historical museum for schoolchildren 
will also be installed adjacent to the restored 
water mill. 

The next step is to raise the money 
necessary to implement these and other pro- 
grams outlined in the plan. So far. Bronx 
River Restoration, Inc. has negotiated an 
im])ressive array of private and public funding 
and technical assistance, as well as public 
support and communitv involvement. An indi- 
cation of their success? This neighborhood 
stretch of the Bronx River remains as clean and 
sparkling today as it became six years ago 
when local citizens turned it from a dismal, 
debris-choked place into a stream of clear, 
running water. 

Project Directo's 

Axel Horn, director for long-term planning 

Ruth Anderberg, director for programs 


Deteriorating physical conditions and 
attendant social and economic problems 
plaguing an important section of downtown 
Salt Lake City. Utah, led ASSIST Inc., a 
nonprofit design services organization, to seek 
funding from the .Arts Endowment to help 
finance a rev italization plan. One and a half 
years later, the plan is complete and has been 
presented to the citv and civic organizations. 

-ASSIST's vision is to reestablish the down- 
town area known as \\'est South Temple as a 

ASSIST's vision is to reestab- 
lish the do'^vnto'^vn area kno^vn 
as West South Temple as a 
cultural, commercial, and 
civic center. 

cultural, commercial, and civic center. To 
achieve this, the designers concentrated on the 
streetscape and ways to capitalize on community 
landmarks. For example, the plan calls for the 
excavation of City Creek and reuse of the old 
Union Pacific depot as a transportation center. 
Other major anchor points incorporated in the 
plan include the historic Devercaux House, a 

new multi-ethnic center currently under con- 
struction, Temple Square, a new Mormon 
Church museum, the Symphony Hall and .Art 
Center, and the Salt Palace as an expanded 
convention center. 

The purpose of the plan is to give the 
inner-city district an identity as an attractive 
place to live and work. To accomplish this 
objective, designers have capitalized on the 
unused potential of Salt Lake City's extra-large 
blocks and streets by providing space for civic 


and ciiltmal activities as well as an intennodal, 
encigy-cflicient tiansit system. The designers 
at ASSIST emphasize that the West South 
Temple plan will be realized as a mixed-use 
de\el()pmcnt district that encourages a com- 
patible juxtaposition of commerce, housing, 
oflice space, and social services. 

A start has been made with a $1.") million 
I'rban Development .Action Grant for the 
restoration of the Dcvereaux House and a $1.2 
million grant given by the city retievclopment 
agency for street impro\ements and the 
development of Dcvereaux Park. 

Piofjosed ilevclopmcnl for West South Temple 
will combine culture and commerce. Drawings 
hv ASSIST Inc. 

Model of proposed rnixed-use dei'elopment for 
the West South Temple district. Photograph by 



Roger Olpin 

Robert D. Hermar)son, AIA 

Antonio Serrato-Combe 

Proiecl Director 
Robert L. Bliss. FAIA 





More than forty ethnic groups settled and 
developed the state of Wisconsin. In recent 
years, however, tangible evidence of this rich 
heritage, most notably the architecture, has 
been disappearing rapidly. Recognizing the 
desirability of preserving the buildings and 
lifestyles that document the state's rich cultural 
tradition, the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin is establishing an outdoor folk 
"museum" of historic buildings on nearly six 
hundred acres near Milwaukee. 

The museum site, selected for its proximity 
to major centers of population, is typical of 
the Wisconsin terrain settled by the state's first 
inhabitants, encompassing prairie uplands, 
marshes, ponds, and oak forest. The Department 
of I.andscape Architecture at the University 
of Wisconsin obtained a .$41,000 .Arts Endow- 
ment grant to fund the pre])aration of detailed 
plans necessary to moving typical dwellings 
from their original sites. Eventually the museum 
site, called Old World ^Visconsin, will have 
l.^G historic structures, including 21 farms and 
a village representing the distinctive building 
styles, furnishings, and household possessions of 
sixteen ethnic groups. Its multicultural nature 
makes Old \VorId Wisconsin unique among 
folk musciuns worldwide. 

Its fragile, still-life beauty sets 
Old World Wisconsin apart 
from other reconstructed 
historic towns, and belies its 
sturdy heritage. 

A modern-day Wisconsotiian reflects an Old 
World look. Pliolograph courtesy of William 

Tree slumps and litnbs fortify their built 
counterparts on this Finnish farmstead. Photo- 
graph courtesy of William Tishler. 

Its fragile, still-life beauty also sets Old 
World Wisconsin apart from other recon- 
structed historic towns, and belies its sturdv 
heritage. Perhaps the generous spacing of the 
buildings on the striking countryside creates 
the notable harmony of structure, artifact, and 
landscape; perhaps the handsome craftsman- 
ship of the spare buildings, furniture, and 
household objects themselves. 

.\ small portion of Old World \Visconsin 
opened for the 1976 Bicentennial celebration; it 
is now approximately one-third complete. The 
cost of reconstructing each pioneer homestead, 
including furnishings, ranges between S60,000 
and $100,000. Old AVorld Wisconsin is expand- 
ing slowly, as money and buildings are acquired. 
Money has come from federal, state, and 
foreign governments, private organizations, and 
businesses to fund development costs projected 
at nearly .S7 million. .Annual profits obtained 
from entrance fees are estimated to be S1")0.000, 
although one can imagine that estimate to be 
a conservative one. 

The University of Wisconsin 


Staff of the Old World Wisconsin Project, 

John Harbour, director 

State Historical Society of Wisconsin staff members 

Graduate students. Department of Landscape 

Architecture, University of Wisconsin 

Schaeffer & Schaefier, architects 

Project Director: 
William H. Tishler, ASLA 




Walpack Center, New Jersey, is a small \ illage 
neatly arranged along a single street, with 
store and post office at one end, church and 
schoolhouse at the other, and neat white houses 
in between. The \illage, which dates from 
pre-Civil War America, is located in the 
Delaware \Vater Gap National Recreation 
Area, a region of great scenic beauty and nearly 
unspoiled wilderness maintained by the 
National Park Service. Much to its credit, the 
Park Service considers itself not only custodian 
of some seven thousand acres of clean and 
beautiful mountain, ri\er, meadow, and forest- 
land, but it is concerned as well with preserving 
the way in which .Americans have lived on the 
land — in their houses, schools, churches, 
and streets. 

In 1972, after a trial period lasting a )ear 
and a half, the National Park Service and the 
.\rtists for Environment Foundation signed a 
cooperative agreement that codified some of the 
legal precedents for undertaking joint ventures 
in the National Park system and promoted "an 
awareness, use, and appreciation of the value 
of our natural environment as a source of 

The significance of the town 
lies not so much in the 
architectural elegance of any 
partictilar building, but in 
the group as a whole. 

artistic inspiration." Through the Foundation 
the Park Service agreed to provide opportuni- 
ties for the artistic community to broaden and 
deepen its contact with the natural environ- 
ment while helping to strengthen public use 
and appreciation of the recreation area as a 
source of artistic inspiration. 

Next, Walpack's guardians undertook a 
feasibility study and implementation plan, 
partially funded by the ,\rts Endowment, to 
convert \Valpack Center to an art town. The 
study was directed by one of the country's lead- 
ing preservationists. James Marston Fitch, who 
found that the significance of the town 
"lies not so much in the architectural elegance 
of any particular building, but in the group 
as a whole. To find a prototypical eighteenth or 
nineteenth century rural settlement intact . . . 
tells us more about how the nineteenth century 

felt than almost any other experience could. 
In the best sense . . . the preservation of 
^Valpack would not be a simple facsimile, in 
costume, of nineteenth century activities, but a 
continuation of the life and use of the village. 
.\nd I couldn't think of a more viable group 
than artists, who after all, treasure those very 
aspects of the village which gave it form to 
begin with." 

Today, AValpack Center is a tiny but 
thriving environmental campus, home to a resi- 
dent fellowship program, a resource center and 
gallery, and a free-admission music series, the 
Water Gap Concerts. The National Park Service 
has leased six of the ten village buildings, kept 
in repair with lots of sweat ecpiity, to artists. 
The art town has been designated a National 
Historic District and is now administered by 
•Artists for Environinent Foundation in coop- 
eration with the National Park Service and the 
Union of Independent Colleges of .Arts. The 
interrelated artistic and environmental pro- 
grams serve student and professional visual 
artists and musicians as well as the general 

Artists tor Environmertt Foundation 

Project Director- 
Joel Corcos Levy, chairman, policy committee, and 
p president, Artists for Environment Foundation 


Policy committee: James Marston Fitch, 

Lester Creenberg, Alan Gussow, Jean Henderer, 

Bernard M. Kessler, Henry Magaziner, 

Joseph McCullough, James McLaughlin, Richard 

Stanton, Rose Weil, Benjamin Zerbey 

Staff for study: Kenneth N. Salins, 

coordinator, and associate director. Artists for 

Environment Foundation; Jerome Aidlin, John 

Bruce Dodd, AIA; Elliott Kaufman; Bennett Schiff; 

Roger Shepherd; Edv/ard Wengenroth; 

Ralph Woehrman 

Walpack Center, Xew Jersey. Photograph 
rourlesy of Artists for Environment Foundation 




A gift of ninety-eight acres of land 
containing an historic site of unspoiled natural 
beauty and the oldest extant governor's resi- 
dence in Missouri posed a development problem 
for the St. Louis County Department of I'arks 
and Recreation. The terms of the gift specified 
that the property, called Thornhill, be 
restored and used to interpret the cultural 
heritage of the region. A "museum house" was 
ruled out, gi\en the relatively large cost of 
operation and the limited number of repeat 
\ isitors. 

A small grant from the .\rts Kndowment 
enabled the parks department to study the 
feasibility of alternative uses for the property, 
now known as Faust Park, that would celebrate 
the art and culture of the many ethnic groups 
that have contributed to the development of St. 

The terms of the gift .specified 
that the property, called 
Thornhill, be restored and 
used to interpret the cultural 
heritage of the region. 

St. Louis County Department of Parks and 
Recreation, Wayne C. Kennedy, director 

Project Director: 
Virginia StUh, historic program supervisor 

Thomas McCasfcey, leasibility study 

John Lindenbusch and 

Charles Van Ravenswaay, historians 

David Browman, anthropologist 

Richard Bliss, architect 

Crosby Brown, architectural restoration consultant 

Stanley Goodman, business consultant and 

French Honorary Consul 

John Walsh, director, business and industrial 

development of St. Louis County 

Louis. .\ second grant from the Humanities 
Endowment funded a study of the social and 
cullural history of the area. 

From these studies, a plan has been devel- 
oped that en\ isions the restoration or recon- 
struction of the entire propertv and the 
establishment of a folk center for the studv, 
display, and enactment of the multiple folk 
traditions of the early French, Spanish, English, 
and (.erman settlers of St. Louis. Existing 
buildings will be reused for exhibition, craft, 
conference, restaurant, and theater space. State 
and county governments have provided grants 
for restoration totaling S7,'),000. In addition, 
one hundred acres of land worth S3. 4 million 
is expected to be given to Faust I'ark in the 
near future. 



America's most significant \'ictorian seaside 
resort, a mere ten years ago on the way to 
annihilation by sea and bulldozer, is once again 
thriving thanks to a new alliance of local gov- 
ernment and business, the National Endowment 
for the .Arts, and .Atlantic Richfield Company 
(ARCO) . 

Cape May lies at the southern tip of New 
Jersey where the Delaware Bay meets the 
Atlantic Ocean. .\ decade ago, hurricane-force 
winds in successive years almost destroyed the 
gingerbread houses lining the barrier beach. 
Local politicians and businesspeople favored 
sending in bulldozers to finish the job, but 
tenacious preservationists had other ideas. Cape 
May contains, still intact, more than six 
hundred houses, hotels, and churches built 
during the height of Victorian prosperity; it 
represents a significant era of .American culture. 
The town had begun as a fishing village in the 
late seventeenth century and, by the time the 
Victorian carpenter-gothic builders arrived, was 
a noted resort frequented by the wealthy 
and famous. 

Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, and five 
other United States presidents vacationed at the 
internationally known spa, which attracted as 
many as three thousand visitors a day in the 
mid-to-late nineteenth century. While it 

The to\vn had begun as a 
fishing village in the late 
seventeenth century and, by 
the time the Victorian 
carpenter-gothic builders had 
arrived, was a noted resort 
frequented by the wealthy 
and famous. 


City of Cape May 

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia 

Project Director: 
Carolyn Pitts 


Hugh McCauley, Michael Fish, Trina Vaux, 

Perry Benson, Dan Goodenow, Tom Swing, 

Susan Stein, Reed Longnecker 

flourished. Cape .May was rivaled only by New- 
port, Saratoga Springs, and Long Beach. .And 
when, in the early twentieth century, the resort 
ceased to be considered fashionable, it remained 
a showcase of late-\'ictorian architecture. 

The "Pictures(]ue" style of architecture, 
culled from textbooks and pattern books, 
included bits of Gothic, Romanesc]ue, Italianate 
and Second Empire. .\ large number of build- 
ings were designed by important architects of 
the day. Fortunately, one hundred years later, 
at least some individuals recognized the value 
of the unique concentration of architecture. 
Their efforts prompted the city to initiate a 
detailed survey of the historic buildings and, 
after several years, townspeople began to 
realize the merits of their \ictorian heritage 
and to accept the responsibility for managing 
their cultural legacy properly. 

By the late 1970s, the survey was finished 
and a handbook of handsomely detailed build- 
ings was produced, with assistance from the 
Arts Endowment and .\RC.O, to aid individual 
building owners in restoration. The entire city 
has been designated as a National Historic 
Landmark District. .\ new understanding of th 
cultural significance of the city has restored 
local pride and enhanced the touiist business. 
Most important, a cultural asset is being used 
and appreciated. 


Fexr nincicoilh-ccniury homebuilders could 
afford elaborately canied and decorated stone. 
With the invention of the jigsaw, fancy 
U'ooden details, or "gingerbread," could be 
produced clieaply and quickly, giving rise 
to the "carpenter-gothic" cottages pictured 
here. (Note the characteristically asymmetrical 
facades.) Drawings from The Cape May 


For a long time in the United States, a small 
town has been a place to ha\e come from; only 
now is it becoming a place to go to. The authors 
of an excjuisite book entitled The Small Town 
as an Art Object were ahead of their time. Even 
before the urban-to-rural migration had 
become widespread, they had applied to the 
\rts Endowment for a grant to make a study of 
the small town. 

The purpose of their study was to provide 
a visual \ocabulary by which people can relate 
to the surroundings they have built. The 
result is the book, an excellent technical as 
well as artistic docimient. The authors ha\e 
analyzed the \ isual qualities of several small 

The authors point out that 
small towns are complex and 
should not be interpreted as 
large cities in miniature. 

towns in Mississippi and defined and codified 
their physical attributes into a set of design 
principles. Lessons and examples are provided 
as to how each design element might be modi- 
fied in order to improve a town's visual 
character. The point of view is creative: "Small 
towns are icons crystallizing the lives of their 
people into physical reality." They explain 
their interpretation as follows: "If art is 
defined as the way by which man attempts to 
express inward feelings through outward 

appearances, then people trv to make their 
towns . . . art objects." The narrative dramatizes 
this view by concentrating on a person's sense 
of time and place as he or siie passes through 
the built en\ ironment. 

The authors conclude by pointing out that 
small towns are complex and should not be 
interpreted as large cities in miniature. They 
should be taken as an important urban design 
challenge, especially since major \ isual changes 
can be achieved by carrying out relatively 
minor improvements in strategic locations. 

The research effort was intriguing and the 
approach successful in terms of generating 


additional demand for similar visual analyses 
elsewhere. 1 his outcome and other factors led 
the School of Architecture at Mississippi State 
University to establish a permanent Center for 
Small Town Research and Design. .Achieve- 
nuiils of the new C!enter include: graphic and 
|)hoiographic docinncntation of more than 
eighty small towns in Mississippi as a data base 
for small town studies across the country; a 
national conference; initiation of Small Town 
Action Teams (.ST .AT) based on a model 
developed by the .American Institute of .Archi- 
tects; a pidjlishing program; and modeling 
analvsis and case studies of small town issues, 
images, and growth i)atterns in connection 
with specific developmciu. inanageincni. and 
conservation projects. 

The Small Town as an Art Object is 
distributed by Wittcnborn, Inc., New York, 
New York. 

In Ocean Sfjilngs, Mississippi, two-ltundred- 
year-old life oaks form a natural canopy over 
the street to conceal power lines and telephone 
poles. Barker has mapped the street's com- 
ponents schematically, defining this particular 
place as a link, or line, rather than a node, 
or point. Photograph courtesy of James Barker. 

Grantees and Protect Directors 
James F. Barker 

Michael Fazio 
Henry Hildebrandt 

Public officials, towns of Holly Springs, Starkville, 

and Ocean Springs, Mississippi 

Stephen Overcash 


Today artists are often among 
the s(|uatters who must 
solve their housing needs in 
this extralegal way. 

Beginning with the first colonists, 
.Americans frequently ha\e struck out on their 
own to resolve their housing needs, often 
appropriating land or buildings they did not 
legally own. Such people ha\e been called 
"squatters," and their communities "scjuatter 
settlements." Stephen Bender has undertaken 
research on present-day squatter .settlements in 
the Southwest to gain an understanding of 
the housing phenomenon they encompass for 
use in developing policies that might contribute 
to our society's ability to shelter itself. 

Today, artists are often among the squatters 
who must solve their housing needs in this 
extralegal way. .Although Bender's study does 
not look specifically at the conditions of artists' 
housing, the squatters' self-help approach to 
their housing problems arc germane to this 
group. Bender's study may offer some lessons 
to urban designers and civic administrators as 
energy, land, and other resource shortages 
continue to demand new solutions to the 
housing and transportation requirements of 
growing populations. 

Grantee and Protect Director: 
Stephen O. Bender 





In 1862, the original Homcsitad Act ofleicd 
any American citizen the oppoiuiniiy to accjuiic 
up to 160 acres of unappropriated puljlic land, 
free, on the condition that the citizen live on the 
land and cultivate it for five years. The comniii- 
mcnt of labor in exchange for a place to live 
and a source of livelih(X)d was a well-accepted 
bartering system at the time — one that 
encouraged rapid settlement of this country's 
wild areas and su])ported the concept of the 
self-sullicient entrepreneur. 

Coinciding with the United States Bicen- 
tennial, the .\rts Council of Greater New Haven 
pr()[)osed a Homestead .\ct for .Artists. Based 
on the pretnise that the working artist is a 
markciahie commodity whose talents are called 
on continually in business, municipal, and 
academic undertakings, the Homestead .\ct for 
Artists proposed to pro\ ide a selected number 
of artists with affordable living and working 
cjuarters within a (i-acre arts center. In 
exchange, resident artists w-ould be required to 
participate in school and other community 
performances and exhibitions in and around 
New Haven. 

In 197G, a small grant from the Arts 
Endowment enabled the .Arts Council to 
develop a design for their Audubon Street Arts 
Center, which incorporates living and working 
quarters for artists, artisan shops, a gallery, 
guest artist quarters, a restaurant, and com- 
mercial space. .Artists' cjuarters are to be heated 
by solar energy in order to reduce service 
costs. Subsidies for part of the construction cost 
have been calculated to maintain low rents to 

Based on the premise that the 
working artist is a market- 
able commodity whose talents 
are called on continually in 
business, municipal, and 
academic undertakings, the 
Homestead Act for Artists 
proposed to provide a selected 
number with affordable liv- 
ing and working quarters. 

artists, and commercial space on the lower level 
of the complex is offered at market rates to 
provide operating income. 

New Ha\en's Homestead .\ct for .\rtists 
has stimulated interest in the enactment of 
similar legislation by other states and Canada. 
In New Haven, a successful design competition 
has paved the way for the incorporation of 
artists' li\ing and working quarters in the de- 
\eloping .Arts Center, giving the artist an 
identifiable place in the community. 

In this model for the Homestead Act, louvered 
solar roof over artists' lofts spans a commercial 
street, revenues from zchich leould suf)plement 
loft rental. Pliotonrafjh b\ Cornelia Ttaden. 

Artists and consultants who contributed to 
the Homestead Act, from toj): Jack Smith, Frank 
Gardner, Mai Lubcr, Joan Gardner, Henry 
Gorski, Tom Schmidt, George Harrington, Paul 
Simons, Skip J'aughn, and Al Mortali. Photo- 
graph courtesy of Charles H. lireieer, fr. 

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven 

Project Director: 
Charles H. Brewer, Jr. 


Jack Smith, Ann Lehman, Anna Audette, 

Henry Gorski, Al Mortali. Malcolm Luber, 

Tom Schmidt. Edward Kubler. Laetitia V. Pierson, 

Paul H. Johnson, Charles Newton Schenck III 




AVhen a fire destroyed the Plante Shoe 
Factory in the Boston community of Jamaica 
Plain in 197G, more than se\enty artists living 
and working in the building found themsches 
homeless. Their plight was recognized by the 
Boston-based Artists Foundation Inc., which 
provided them with financial and technical 
assistance and then began to look at the options 
for artist housing on a national scale. 

Working with the Massachusetts Institute 
of Technology's School of .Architecture and 
Planning, the Foundation held a series of 
seminars to review di\erse, available information 
on artist housing throughout the United States. 
The review yielded findings related to owner- 
ship, control, scale, and architectural design that 
were used to de\ elop a survey cjuestionnaire 
for detemiining the spatial li\ ing and working 
needs of artists in Massachusetts. The sub- 
sequent survey became the largest and most 
comprehensive study of individual artists 
conducted in this country. 

During the same period, with the help of 
the Boston Redevelopment .Authority, the 
Foundation also surveyed 750 underused com- 
inercial and industrial buildings in down- 
town Boston to assess occupancv patterns and 
the potential for con\ ersion to residential 
use. A Cultural Facilities grant from the .Arts 
Endowment in 1977 provided the Foundation 

In Boston, the conversion of 
underused commercial 
buildings to income-generat- 
ing artist living and working 
space emphasizes a change 
in perception about artists' 
needs, with a focus on their 
relation to the community. 

Forhiddiuf^ facade belies the animation within. 
Artists own and occupy this former shoe 
factory at S6 South Street in Boston. Photograph 
by Susan D. Walton. 

with the means to organize an extensive artist 
housing project, which identified a market 
for housing among artists, defined their specific 
needs for space, and located a\ ailable structures 
to meet those needs. From these efforts, a pilot 
artist housing program, -Art Space Project, Inc., 
was launched. 

In Boston, the con\ersion of underused 
commercial buildings to income-generating 
artist living and working space emphasizes a 
change in perception about artists' needs, 
with a focus on their relation to the community. 
The connection between artists and neighbor- 
hood revitalization will be documented by the 
.Artists Foundation in a forthcoming report, 
which outlines the spatial requirements of 
various types of artists and offers strategies for 
replicating the project across the country. 

The Artists Foundation Inc. 

Proiect Director: 
Daniel C. Corrigan 


Rita K. Roosevelt, research director 

Theodore C. Landsmark, project coordinator 

Francis Keefe 



One and a half million square feet of 
available warehouse space plus two thousand 
requests from artists looking for a place to 
work and live equaled the mathematics of a 
significant problem facing the Minneapolis 
.Arts Commission in the mid-1970s. 

To camouflage their encamp- 
ment, artists living and 
working in underutilized 
^varehouses in the city's North 
Loop district had adopted 
the "blackout curtain" tech- 
nique to avoid detection by 
city building inspectors. 

Like many .American cities with a sui-plus 
of old, dortiiant industrial buildings, the city 
of Minneapolis found that many local artists, 
pressed by a need for adequate living and 
working space at minimal cost, had begun to 
occupy vacant warehouses. To camouflage 
their encampment, artists li\ ing and working in 
underutilized warehouses in the citv's North 


Loop district had adopted the "blackout 
curtain" technique to a\oid detection by city 
building inspectors. By covering their windows 
with black curtains at night, artists attempted 
to hide their residency in buildings rented for 
working purposes only. Despite the invest- 
ment of time, work, and money by the artist 
residents in their warehouse spaces, buikling 
code violations and subsecjuent e\ictions were 

Recognizing the need to address the prob- 
lem of artist living and working space, the 
Minneapolis .Arts Commission, with aid from an 
.Arts Endowment grant, undertook the Minne- 

apolis Warehouse Project. The project hatl three 
objectives: to formulate ways of actjuiring 
and developing space for low- and moderate- 
income artists that would comply with building 
and zoning regulations: to dc\elop methods 
for reducing operating costs — primarily energy 
related — in converted structures not originally 
designed for residential needs; and to devise 
legal controls for the protection of the artist 
residents from displacement by middle- and 
upper-income persons. The results of the study 
were published in a report, which serves as a 
sourcebook of anahtical data, financing tools, 
and legal and development mechanisms that 
can be used to create safe, affordable artist 
studio/living spaces in unused warehouses and 
connnercial buildings. 

Also developed from the project were a 
videotape entitled "The Cireat ^\'arehousc 
Space Race," and a nonprofit agency, .Artspace 
Reuse Project (ARP) , organized to help artists 
locate and rehabilitate living and working 

Minneapolis Arts Commission 

Project Director: 
Kris Nelson 


Melisande Charles, director, Minneapolis 

Arts Commission 

Steven Shapiro, legal researcher 

Scott Williams and Kanwarjit Mora, 

architectural survey 

Architectural design and analysis: K. M. Loclfhart, 

Richard Morrill, Scott Wende. Michael McCarthy 

Robert Diedrich, engineer 
James McComb. economic and tinancial analysis 


.A futurist fantasy for modular living has 
been designed as a prototypical solution for low- 
income, multistory housing in an urban 
locale. .Situated four blocks from the ocean in 
Venice, California, the Green Machine has 
been described as an "ecological experiment" 
and a solution to the housing shortage in 
, Los .Angeles. By demonstrating the use of a 
variety of conservation technologies such 
as solar heating used for power and hot water, 
rain collection for drinking water, recycled 
water for subsurface irrigation, and greenhouse 

What does it look like? Like a 
multistory pyramid trellis, 
covered with foliage. 

Arcliitec I's plans j or the Grern Machine present 
an extraordinary concept for housing residents 
of Venice, California. Drawings by Glen 

planting for food production, the Green 
Machine presents a holistic approach to urban 
life in an era of diminishing energv and space. 

The concept behind the design of the 
Green Machine is an attempt to coinbine and 
synthesize within a single housing structure 
a number of current ideas and technologies de- 
veloping independently — low-income housing, 
manufactured housing, modular plug-in 
housing, trailer housing, membrane structures, 
solar energy for heating and electrical gen- 
eration, greenhouses for space heating and food 


production, drip irrigation, inclined elevators, 
recycling, miniparks, lightweight structures, and 
natural water collection. 

Based on the cost-efficient mobile home 
unit, the only residential structure available 
today in the United States for less than S25,000, 
the Green Machine offers an alternative to 
rent-controlled and low-income housing pro- 
grams and commercial loft space illegally 
inhabited bv artists. 

\Vhat does it look like? Like a multistory 
pvramid trellis, covered with foliage. The 
modular housing units, which are small travel 
trailers, sit on and plug into platfonns, or 
pads, within a membrane structure made up of 
lightweight, factory-prefabricatetl tubular 
steel framing supported by concrete columns. 
Occupants own the modular housing units, 
which they mav sell or take with them upon 
lea\ ing. 

The proposed twenty-four-unit structure 
sits diagonally on a one-square-acre site, three- 
quarters of which will remain as open space 
to be used for a community park and garden 
plots for food production. 

A grant given by the National Endowment 
for the .Arts to the city of Los .Angeles in 1979 
for a feasibility study and architectural draw- 
ings of the Green Machine has now enabled 
the city to seek funds to erect the structure, 
which has been received enthusiastically by 
local residents. The designers anticipate that 
their experiment will create a broader public 
awareness of building concepts that should 
be elaborated on and incorporated into building 
standards to lower housing costs. 

'.■f:?!^;-:;-.-- f ,!:':"■- •- \.>:.'^^^ 

•1 ' i-'-^-i-^ 

City of Los Angeles 


Glen Small, project architect 

Jerry Sullivan, mechanical engineer 

Saul Goldin, electrical engineer 

Peter Pearch, structural engineer 

Joe Linesch and Morgan Evans, 

landscape architects 

Charles Reeder, computer systems 

David Stea, environmental psychologist 

Project Director: 
Calvin S. Hamilton 


A new generation of western homesteaders 
is resettling some of the formerly undesirable 
urban spaces of Seattle, ^Vashington. In recent 
years, adventurous Seattle artists in search of 
inexpensi^e studio and living space have 
happened upon dilapidated buildings in forgot- 
ten neighborhoods. Their success in refurbishing 
old houses and commercial buildings, bringing 
along the often deplored "gentrification" 
(the transformation of a neighborhood from 
poor and undesirable to upper middle class 
and chic) , led the city of Seattle to recognize the 
potential for a partnership in its own rede- 
velopment efforts. The city formed a steering 
committee that consults artists in planning 

The handbook is based on the 
principle that artists can 
most efficiently fulfill their 
space requirements, and then 
maintain affordable quarters, 
by banding together as 
a group. 

for new development and ad\ ises artists on ways 
10 solve their own housing problems. 

One of the significant ways in which the 
city has helped artists is emlx)died in a publi- 
cation of Seattle's Department of Community 
Development, with the aid of a grant from the 
National Endowment for the .Arts. The Seattle 
Artist's Houslyuj^ Handbook is a step-by-step 
guide to rehabilitating a building for use by 
working artists. The handbook is based on the 
principle that artists can most efficiently 
fulfill their space requirements, and then 
maintain affordable quarters despite neighbor- 
hood changes that may occur as a result of 
their homesteading efforts, by banding together 


as a group. The opening [>agcs outline the 
preliminary information artists may need when 
contemplating a self-help anil group approach 
to housing needs. Because artist housing 
projects require a great deal of coo[)eratif)n 
among a number of unorthodox individuals, 
who are in addition uncomfortaljle with the 
financial and long-ierin time commitments 
rec]uired, the handhook gi\es ilic potentially 
interested artist straightforward information 
about these aspects of collaborati\e jjiojects. As 
the manual warns, those undertaking a housing 
project, especially one organized as a condo- 
minium or cooperati\e, "had better be prepared 
for meetings, meetings, and more meetings." 

The handbook goes on to address a variety 
of approaches to artist housing, from securing a 
long-term lease and hcl|)ing tlic building 
owner arrange financing for rciio\ation to 
purchasing a building and doing all the con- 
struction work oneself. .-Ml arc \ariations of 

City of Seattle 

self-help housing that present alicrnati\es to 
precarious month-to-month tenancies and short- 
term leases. Included are alternati\e lease/ 
ownership, financing, and mixed-use arrange- 
ments designed to provide housing for artists 
while upgrading the city's deteriorating build- 
ing stock. Projects are intended to be financially 
feasible and attractive both to artists and to 
building owners. 

In response to the labyrinthine difficulties 
artists must encounter in establishing self- 
help housing, the Seattle handbook atteinpts to 
break down the process into manageable and 


Consultants: Vivian Kahn, Larry Mortimer, 

Dan Carlson 

Charles Royer, mayor, City of Seattle 

Darel Grotftaus, director. Department of 

Community Development 

Bill Vivian, housing division director 

Technical steering committee: Karen Gates, 

Margaret Fleek. John Clise. Chuck Greening, 

Tim Rood, Steve Johnson. Barbara Hoffman, 

Richard Linzer, Robert Bodkin, Ted Hoppin 

understandable components. From the question 
"What do you really want?" raised in the 
first chapter, through types of financing arrange- 
ments, preliminary do-it-yourself site and 
structure analysis, examinations of the citv's 
building, housing, fire and construction codes, 
and suggestions for ccxle changes, to ideas for 
the operation and management of the building 
once construction is completed, the manual 
offers practical advice for every step of a compli- 
cated process. 

Since the handbook was first distributed 
among Seattle's art and business communities, 
interest among building owners, bankers, 
and artists' groups has grown considerably. The 
city anticipates an increase in artist housing 
projects that will prove mutually beneficial to 
the artists and the city of Seattle. 

Project Director: 
Virginia Voorhees 


In 1973, the Goodman Building, the 
last Victorian hotel and studio building in 
San Francisco reminiscent of Mark Twain, 
Bret Harte, and Jack London, was threatened 
with extinction. Like the similar buildings of 
the famous Montgomery Street block that 
sheltered generations of artists in light and 
spacious Cjuarters, the Goodinan Building was 
perfectly suited to the needs and lifestyles of 
working artists. Since the beginning of this cen- 
tury, its high ceilings, large windows, and low 
rents have attracted a community of creative 
individuals, including photographer H. Pierre 
Smith in 1907 and rock singer Janis Joplin 
in the 1960s. 

Originally designed by Joseph Emeric in 
1809 as four Victorian houses, the building was 
converted into a residential hotel after the 
earthquake of 1906. The hostelry, which fea- 
tured commercial shops on the ground floor — 
one of which, A. Goodman, Ladies Tailor, 
gave the building its name — flourished in the 
twenties and thirties. 

By the mid-1950s, attracted by its central 
location, the demise of most other studio 
buildings in downtown San Francisco, excellent 
north light, Victorian ambience, and low rent, 
the residents of the Goodinan Building were 
mostly painters, writers, dancers, composers, 
musicians, poets, and theater people. There, 
resident artists responded to the ambience with 
an outpouring of art that has greatly enriched 
the cultural life of the city and the nation 
for more than two decades. 

The Goodman Group, Inc. 

Project Director: 

Cathy Simon, Marquis Associates, 

architects and planners 

As one artist described the 
chemistry inside the Goodman 
Building, "It's a family, a 
dorm, a sinnmer camp, a 
grown-up party "where you're 
the host." 

But urban economics of the 1970s cast a 
shadow over the "good life" of the Goodman, 
and the building's owner, the San Francisco 
Redevelopment Agency, scheduled the structure 
for demolition. The thirty residents threatened 
with eviction rebelled. Rather than give in 
without a fight, they commissioned a feasibility 
study, with the aid of an Arts Endowment 
grant, to convince the owner that the building 
had historic and architectural merit and made 
a significant contribution to the city's artistic 

Robert B. Marquis and Joseph Toussaint, 
Marquis Associates 
Charles B. Turner, Jr., and Jeffrey Feldman, San 
Francisco Community Design Center 
Chester Hartman, social planner 
John Garden Campbell, historic preservationist 

Jim Burns, community workshop leader 

Economists: Edward Kirshner, Chester McGuire, 

Joel Rubenzahl 

J. Paul Oppenheim, cost estimator 

Otto Avvakumovits, structural engineer, 

GFDS Engineers 

Rodney Roberts, mechanical engineer, 

Montgomery & Roberts, consulting engineers 

Agripino R. Cerbatos, electrical engineer, 

Marion, Cerbatos & Tomasi, engineers 

Robert Berner, Foundation for San Francisco's 

Architectural Heritage 

San Francisco Redevelopment Agency 

Mrs. Bland Piatt, Landmarks Preservation 

Advisory Board 

Persuading the agency to reconsider its 
demolition order meant the residents had to 
identify economically viable rehabilitation 
schemes. The underlying assumptions of the 
rehabilitation alternati\es were the continued 
need for low-cost housing and studio space, 
compliance with all existing building codes and 
standards, and de\elopment of existing 
cultural resources. 

The Goodman Group, as the protesting 
residents became known, also succeeded in 
making the San Francisco community aware of 
the building's architectural value, of its use 
as a community art center, and of the contri- 
butions its residents make to the cultural life 
of the city. Their approach in\ol\cd holding a 
two-day community workshop to explain the 
Goodman Building's current role and to gain a 
consensus on its future. Participants included 
city supenisors, building code officials. Rede- 
velopment Agency staff, members of the San 
Francisco arts community, and neighbors. 

Froin its financial analyses, the group 
discovered that, by using a combination of 
financing approaches, the rehabilitation and 
maintenance of the building as low-income 
living space and work studios for artists would 
be feasible. With inclusion of the structure on 
the National Register of Historic Places, 
the historic merit of the building ^vas perma- 
nently established, and the Goodinan Buikling 
Development Corporation (GOODCO) was 
formed to buy the building and carry out the 
rehabilitation plans. 

.//( artisl (it irnrk in liis lirir-in Inft. 
Photograph by David Scligman in 


In addition to providing housing for artists, 
the Goodman Building today offers a cultural 
center on the streel le^e!, exhibition space, 
classrooms, darkrooms, a theater, a free school, 
woodwork shops, and a range of activities for 
residents and the surrounding community. In 
its most recent endeavors, GOODCO has 
proposed to equip the building with alternative 
energv systems, including passive-solar heating, 
a solar hot water system, food growing areas, 
and waste reduction 'utilization svstems. The 
integration of low-energ\ -consumption designs 

will extend the scope of the building's develop- 
ment, emphasizing maximum livability, at 
low cost and with miniinal impact on the 

Throughout their continuing struggle to 
preser\ e the Gooihnan Building's physical 

structure, the resident artists have been intent 
on maintaining the integrity of the community's 
internal life as well. Ambience has been an 
important factor in the creative activities of its 
inhabitants. The residents prize their fragile 
and liard-sought balance between collective 
cooperation and individual independence. 
.\s one artist described the chemistry inside the 
Goodman Building, "It's a family, a dorm, a 
summer camp, a grown-up party where you're 
the host." For the Goodman Group, this is one 
party that is taking a great deal of fighting 
to achieve. 



scale 1 inch =50 feet 

Bijou Theater 
Knoxville, Tennessee 

Seating: 790 

Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre 
Neio York 

Seating: 196 

Syracuse Landmark Theatre 
Syracuse, Neiv York 

Seating: 3000 

Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater 
Fargo, X art It Dakota 

Seating: 300 

WJiitesburg, Kentucky 

Seating: 150 

Indiana Repertory Theatre 
Indianapolis, Indiana 

Seating: 600 main 

250 upper stage 
100 auditorium 

Listing of Grantees 

1981 Grant Recognition Program 

Tliis listing contains the following 
information: name of grantee (in bold) , 
address, telephone number, contact 
person, year and amount of grant award 
(in italics) , title of article, page number. 

Akron Art Museum 

70 E. Market Street 
Akron, Ohio 14308 
Linda R. Borez 
Art and Letters 
Page 70 

American Association of Museums 

1055 Thomas Jefferson Street, N.W. 

Suite 428 

Washington, D.C. 20007 


Ellen C. Hicks 


Where a Museum is More 

Page 75 

Appalshop, Inc. 

Box 743 

Whitesburg, Kentucky 41858 


Martin Newell 


Voice of Appalachia 

Page 82 

Artists for Environment Foundation 

Box 44 

Walpack Center, New Jersey 07881 


Kenneth N. Salins 


Walpack Center: An Historic Art Town 

Page 97 

The Artists Foundation Inc. 

100 Boylston Street 

Boston, Massachusetts 021 16 


Rita K. Roosevelt 


Housing Artists in Boston and Beyond 

Paoe 103 

The Arts Council of Greater 
New Haven, Inc. 

1 10 Audubon Street 

New Haven. Connecticut 0651 1 


Charles H. Brewer, fr. 




Artists as Urban Homesteaders 

Page 102 

Arts Council of San Antonio 

201 N. Saint Mary's 

San Antonio, Texas 78205 


Robert M. Canon 


Setting the Stage for San Antonio 

Page 89 



Salt Lake City, Utah 841 II 


Christopher Clark 


Assist for Salt Lake City 

Page 93 

Baltimore Theatre Project, Inc. 

45 W. Preston Street 

Baltimore, Maryland 21201 


Carol Baish 


Baltimore's Theater Project 

Page 91 

James F. Barker 

Box AZ 

Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762 


James F. Barker 


Small Town as Art Object 

Page 99 

Stephen O. Bender 

c/o Sam Brown 
4813 Caroline 
Houston, Texas 77004 
Sam Brown 
Squatter Settlements 
Page 100 

The Boston Children's Museum 

Museum Wharf 

300 Congress Street 

Boston, Massachusetts 02210 


Elaine Gurian 

197 8 -$23 .940 

City Slice 

Page 79 

Bronx River Restoration Project, Inc. 

375 E. Eordiiam Road 

Bronx, New York 10458 


Axel Horn 


Bronx River's Year-Round Festival 

Page 93 

Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center 

P.O. Box 302 

East Cambridge, Massachusetts 02141 


David Kronberg 


.\ Plan for East Cambridge .\long the River F r 

Page 87 

Cit>' of Cape May 

Cape May, New Jersey 08204 

Carolyn Pitts 



\ "Picturescjue" Spa at the Seaside 

Page 98 

Chicago Architecture Foundation 

1800 S. Prairie Avenue 

Chicago, Illinois 60616 


JethroM. Hurt III 


The Glessner House 

Page 71 

The Children's Museum of Rhode Island 

58 VV'alcott Street 

Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02860 


Kathleen Dwyer 


Museum in a Mansion 

Page 80 

Committee for a National Museum 
of the Building Arts 

Tlie Pension Building 

440 G Street, N.W. 

Room 122 

Washington, D.C. 20001 


Mary D. Hewcs 

197 9 -$23, 000 

Museum for the Building .Arts 

Pase 75 

Cornish Institute 

710E. Roy Street 

Seattle, Washington 98102 


David Shaw 


Cornish Unljoimd 

Page 84 


Educational Facilities Laboratories 

680 Fifth Avenue 

New York, New York 10019 


Alan C. Green 


Arts and Craft 

Page 76 

Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater 

P.O. Box 644 

Fargo, North Dakota 58107 


Robert J. Myers 


Drama in North Dakota 

Page 66 

Fort Mason Foundation 

Building A, Fort Mason Center 

San Francisco, California 94123 


Marc Kasky 


A Design Competition for Fort Mason 

Page 92 

Galveston County Cultural Arts 
Council, Inc. 

320 Moody A\enue 
Seventh Floor 
P.O.Box 1105 
Galveston, Texas 77553 
Keoni Robinson 
197 3 -S8, 000 
Profits on the Strand 
Page 88 

Galveston Historical Foimdation 

P.O. Box 302 

Galveston, Texas 11550 


Peter H. Brink 

1974 -$42, 000, $9, 000 

197 5 -$1,5 00 

Profits on the Strand 

Page 88 

G.A.M.E. Inc. /Manhattan 
Laboratory Museum 

314W. 54th Street 

New York, New York 10019 


Bette Korman 


G.A.M.E. for Children 

Page 81 

Goodman Group, Inc. 

1117 Geary Street 

San Francisco, California 94109 


Cathy Simon 


Ladies Tailor to .Arts .\telier 

Page 106 

Al Gowan 

80 Orchard Street 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140 


Al Gowan 


Nuts &; Bolts 

Page 77 

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts 

Deer Isle, Maine 04627 
Howard M. Evans 
197 9 -S5, 000 
Sylvan Study 
Page 83 

Lajos Heder 

388 Walden Street 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 



-Aesthetics in Transportation 

Page 78 

Human Services Corporation 

200 Merrimac Street 

Lowell, Massachusetts 01852 


Susan Southworth 



.\rt, the Handmaiden 

Page 90 

Indiana Repertory Theatre 

140 \V. 'Washington Street 
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 
Benjamin Mordccai 
Expanded Repertoire 
Page 61 

Knoxville Heritage, Inc. 

P.O.Box 1746 

803 S. Gay Street 

Knoxville, Tennessee 37901 


W. Glenn Bullock 



Bijou Reset 

Page 60 

City of Los Angeles 

200 N. Spring Street 

Room 651, City Hall 

Los .\ngeles, California 90012 


Calvin S. Hamilton 


The Green Machine 

Page 104 

Minneapolis Arts Commission 

302 City Hall 

.Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415 


Melisande Charles 


Warehouse Space for Minneapolis .\rtists 

Page 103 

The Municipal Art Society of New York 

457 Madison Avenue 
New York, New York 10022 
Margot 'Wellington 
The 'Villard Houses 
Page 72 

New York City Hispanic- American 
Dance Company 

167 W. 89th Street 

New York, New York 10024 


Tina Ramirez, Verdery Roosevelt 


Ballet Hispanico 

Page 64 

Off Off Broadway Alliance, Inc. 

162'W. 56th Street, #206 

New York, New York 10079 


Carollyn C. Phillip 


■W'ill It Make a Theater? 

Page 66 

Performing Arts Foundation 
of Kansas City 

20 \\\ Ninth Street 

Room 433A 

Kansas City, Missouri 64105 


Joan Kent Dillon 


Folly Restored 

Pase 60 


Project for Public Spaces, Inc. 

875 Avenue of the Americas 

Room 201 

New York, New York 10001 


Stephen Davics 


Museum Mile 

Page 74 

Provincetown Playhouse 
on the Wharf, Inc. 

2 Gosnold Street 

Provincetown, Massachusetts 02647 


Adele R. Heller 


Provincetown's Playliouse on tlie Wiiarf 

Pase 67 

Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre 

362 S. Salina Street 

Syracuse, New York 1 3202 


Rose Berntiial 

1977 -S5, 000 

A Landmark for Syracuse 

Page 62 

City of Tacoma 

Community Development Department 

Tenth Floor 

740 St. Helens Avenue 

Tacoma, Washington 98402 


Patricia A. Sias 


Pantages Center for Performing Arts 

Page 68 

Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre 

141 W. 94th Street 

New York, New York 10025 


Miriam Colon Edgar, Jacklyn Beck 


A Peripatetic Theater Finds a Home 

Pasje 65 

City of Texarltana 

P.O. Box 1967 

Texarkana, Texas 75504 


Candy Stevens 


Choirboys to Chorus Lines 

Page 69 ' 

Roosevelt University 

130 S. Afichigan Avenue 
Chicago, Illinois 60605 
Robin Rose 
1977 -$19,655 
Staged Restoration 
Page 72 

St. Louis Count.v Department of 
Parks and Recreation 

7900 Forsyth 

Clayton, Missouri 63105 


Virginia Stith 


St. Louis Culture on Display: Thornhill 

Page 98 

San Fernando Valley Arts Council 

9055 Reseda Boulevard 

Northridge, California 91328 


Joan Newberg, Charles Cobean 

1977 -$20,000 

A Park for Art 

Page 85 

City of Seattle 

Department of Community Development 

100 Yesler Building 

Seattle, Washington 98104 


Virginia Voorhees 


Lending a Hand 

Page 105 

The University of Wisconsin 

Department of Landscape .\rchitecture 

25 .Agriculture Hall 

Madison, AV'isconsin 53706 


William H. Tishler 


Old World Wisconsin 

Page 96 

The Whole Theatre Company 

544 Bloomfield .Avenue 

Montclair, New Jersey 07042 


Paul Dorphley 


S. Whole Theater 

Page 69 

Your Heritage House 

110 E.Ferry 

Detroit, Michigan 48202 

313/871-1667 ' 

Josephine Herreld Love 


Your Heritage House 

Page 81 



Financing the arts in the 1980s 

Surveying architecture for arts 
around the country 

The trend in artist housing: 

case studies 1/ 

Planning cultural districts 

New museums ; 

Leveraging small grants 

. . . And 50 cultural facilities 
specially recognized by the 
National Endowment for the Arts